There are two videos to choose from to learn about Juneteenth, which celebrates the day that formerly enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned about the end of slavery in the US.
The first video is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!
You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project.
High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects in the Projects section. Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to test your understanding by taking the quiz.
Take A Deeper Dive!
Why did it take so long for Juneteenth to become a US National Holiday?
In 2021, US President Joe Biden announced that Juneteenth would become a federal holiday. While some activists had spent years advocating for this, others feel it is an empty gesture while systemic racism persists against Black communities in the USA.
What do Juneteenth Celebrations Look and Sound Like?
Draw the Juneteenth Flag
Watch the video to find out more about Juneteenth and the Juneteenth flag. You will learn what the flag looks like and what the colors and symbols represent. Draw the flag and save your work to add to your portfolio.
Red Food Recipe
The first video explains why Juneteenth celebrations can include red food and red drinks. The second video will show you a recipe that uses a red food, strawberries. Watch the video to learn how to make a smoothie. Ask your grown up for help using a blender.
You will need:
- Vanilla Yogurt
- Frozen Strawberries
Save a photo of yourself with your smoothie to add to your portfolio.
Compare and Contrast
Do you celebrate Independence Day on July 4th? Many people in the USA think of Independence Day as a celebration of freedom, but it can have a very different meaning for Black people in the USA whose ancestors were enslaved.
While July 4th is celebrated across the United States of America, Juneteenth has not received the same widespread recognition, despite its significance to US history.
Use this venn diagram, from studenthandouts.com, to compare and contrast what you know about July 4th and what you learned about Juneteenth.
As you compare the two holidays, think about which gets more government support, which one is featured more on TV and in movies, how they are celebrated, and the meaning behind each event for different communities of people in the USA.
Why do you think it took so long for Juneteenth to become a national holiday? Do you think communities in the USA could benefit from having more Juneteenth celebrations?
Make an Advertisement
Imagine you are on a planning committee for a Juneteenth celebration. It’s your job to create a poster advertising the event.
Make your poster as eye-catching as possible. Your poster can include visual representations of Juneteenth’s history and all of the activities planned for the day.
Save a photo of your poster to add to your portfolio.
Watch the video to find out 5 ways you can celebrate Juneteenth (even if it isn’t June). Are you able to do any of these activities? If so, pick one.
Write a paragraph reporting what activity you chose, how you implemented it, and how you benefited from the experience. Feel free to add photos to your report.
Save your work to add to your portfolio.
Choose at least one.
Frederick Douglass and July 4th
Juneteenth is sometimes referred to as the USA’s second Independence Day. Frederick Douglass, a freedom seeker and leading abolitionist in the US, gave a powerful speech in 1852 about July 4th and the institution of slavery.
Watch the video to listen to excerpts of this speech recited by his descendants. Afterwards, provide written or a video response to the following questions:
- What is the tone of the speech?
- What does Frederick Douglass say about US independence from the British and enslaved people in the USA?
- What questions does he pose in his speech and what answers does he provide?
- What do you think is the most powerful part of the speech
- In what ways are African-Americans still fighting for equality in the US?
Save your work to add to your portfolio.
Write a Poem, Song, or Rap
Write a poem, song, or rap about Juneteenth. Watch the two videos if you need some inspiration. Poems and songs often capture the experience or emotion of a moment. Think about how you can connect to the human element of the story in writing your poem.
- The thoughts and feelings tied to an experience
- The best kind of poem to express this
- If you’re writing a song, consider the type of music you choose to add to the purpose of the poem
- If you’re writing a rap, consider how the flow and cadence of the words and the syllabic percussion can add emphasis and connect the listener to the intent of poem
Upload it to your portfolio as a written piece, or record it as video.
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