Let's Celebrate Your Ancestors on Juneteenth
Juneteenth is a federal holiday
President Biden signed a bill earlier in the week of June 2021 to establish Juneteenth as a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. Here is what it means and here are key things to know about the day and its history.
Here’s what you need to know about the holiday and its history:
- The day’s name is a blending of the words June and nineteenth.
- It commemorates June 19, 1865: the day that Union Army Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger rode into Galveston, Texas, and told slaves of their emancipation. That day came more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. Even after Lincoln declared all enslaved people free on paper, that hadn’t necessarily been the case in practice.
- Juneteenth is also known as Emancipation Day. People across the country celebrate with food and festivities, much like the Fourth of July.
- All but one state, as well as the District of Columbia, recognize the milestone of Black liberation in some shape or form. For example, some companies honor the occasion by giving their employees the day off.
- Despite being celebrated since 1865, it was only until 1980 that Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth a state holiday.
- With Biden’s signature, Juneteenth is the first holiday to be approved since Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which was established in 1983.
- Juneteenth has often been overlooked by non-Black Americans and omitted from history books. However, momentum to recognize the occasion was generated by the Black Lives Matter movement last year.
- Despite certifying Juneteenth as a federal holiday, Black Americans continue to face systematic challenges such as the racial wealth gap, disproportionate incarceration and persistent health disparities. Therefore, activists say the holiday shouldn’t be seen as a substitute for substantive action, but a step in the right direction.
Allie Serrano Portraits Also Celebrates
Equality and Freedom are some of the main values for Allie Serrano Portraits. Here is why: I am originally from the Czech Republic and even though my skin is white, a part of my heritage is an old tribal European heritage. In addition to that, when I was growing up, I was often treated differently for having a different color hair than was the norm in my childhood. All of this has brought me up to celebrate especially those who are not equal in the community and connect with those who do not feel as confident.
With that in mind, if an individual is uplifted, empowered or celebrated, especially as a person or as a group of people rowing in the same direction, I am thrilled and I want to be a part of the movement. If there is any way I can help even in a small way, I am happy to do everything I can. This is why I have established the Cultural Heritage Portrait genre, you can find more about that here, and I’d like to use that genre to capture portraits of those who made it possible for us to live and thrive as we do today. Our ancestors have word hard so that we have a better life, and I’d love to capture your portrait in a way of your ancestors to honor their effort and lives.
How would you like to be celebrated?
About Allie Serrano
My name is Allie Serrano and I am the owner of Allie Serrano Portraits, LLC. I was born in the heart of Europe in the Czech Republic. It is a land filled with rich country, history, and romanticism, a place where things are handcrafted, one-of-a-kind art, heirloom antiques are created and celebrated. This world continues to influence me to this day. As a little girl, I loved playing dress-up with my sister. I grew up having read hair and I was bullied for that. So, it is not surprising that today as a portrait photographer I have a burning desire to lift the confidence in everyone I meet, to change the world through beautiful portraits, to impact the world around me, and to tell the stories of the most incredible people I meet along the way. I can’t wait to meet you and tell your story with a portrait