Make Your Celebrations Meaningful: Pride & Juneteenth
Being a learning-focused organization requires we center curiosity. We believe most problems can be addressed through collective learning, reflection and action. With that in mind, we thought it important to share resources we’ve come across for Pride and Juneteenth. We hope you take this month and every month to learn, reflect & act.
June is an important time of celebration and remembrance. It was just over 2 years ago that the death of George Floyd (5/25/2020), Ahmaud Arbery (2/23/2020), and Breonna Taylor (3/13/2020) brought an increased focus on the experiences of the Black community and historically marginalized identities across the US. This resulted in varied responses to injustice from new DEI initiatives to observed holidays by the government and workplaces. Two years later, the work of building justice, celebrating diversity, addressing equity, and embedding inclusion continues.
At Construct The Present, June is a month of intersectional allyship. We celebrate two major identities during the month of June: the LGBTQIA+ and Black communities. Pride honors and celebrates the struggle and triumph of the LGBTQIA+ community. While Juneteenth, or “Freedom Day”, is also a day of acknowledgment and celebration. Juneteenth-a combination of June & 19th-commemorates the announcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas, 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation became law.
Understanding the history of these important dates is essential to the celebration. Many states and businesses have made these celebrations public. We want to make sure you have the resources to celebrate with integrity. Knowing the history and significance deepens the meaningfulness of Pride and Juneteenth celebrations. Through our knowledge and experience of these histories, we can identify the ways in which these histories persist, both good and bad, and use that understanding to do the work of liberation.
See where our curiosities led us and check out the resources below.
Make Your Pride Intersectional with These Resources
Throughline: Before Stonewall
There is a lesser-known, rich LGBTQIA+ history prior to Stonewall. Learn some of the unique aspects of queerness that came before and led to Stonewall.
(Trigger warning: violence & death)
Stormé DeLarverie is a Black lesbian icon. Without her fighting spirit, we may not have Pride. Yes, we rarely hear her name. Learn about her life as the igniter of the Stonewall riots, an entertainer, loving partner, and friend.
This selection of antiracist queer books provides a diverse list of options to choose from; some will definitely speak to your reading style. Purchase one of these books at a Black-owned bookstore near you.
Without the uprising at Stonewall, the current state of the LGBTQIA+ community might be different. Pushing against the forces that oppress is a necessary part of the Black, Indigenous, People of Color & LGBTQ+ experience. What we see unfold at Stonewall is a testament to the power & resilience of queer folks everywhere.
LGBTQIA+ history is expansive. New York Radio Hour compiled a list of 50 years of LGBTQIA+ history. Explore LGBTQIA+ history from the history of drag to the experience of being nonbinary.
Stormé DeLarverie was one of the only, if not the only, male impersonators in the 50’s and 60’s and she was bold enough to walk around town in her masculine clothing. As gender fluidity becomes part of the mainstream conversation and becomes more normalized, it’s easy to lose sight of those who paved the way for gender bending.
Juneteenth: History, Culture, and the New Jim Crow
In many cultures, food connects us across time and space and serves as a source of inspiration. It’s no surprise, then, that food is central to the celebration. Juneteenth is no different. This podcast explores ways food played a part in the emancipation of enslaved people and how capitalism influences cultural celebrations today.
Public Juneteenth celebrations vary from festivals to fundraisers. Oregonians can find a variety of Juneteenth events for themselves and the whole family on this event page!
Are you looking to learn more about Juneteenth? Shape magazine offers up a variety of Juneteenth learning opportunities. There’s something for all learning styles: read, listen, or watch to help make the most of your Juneteenth.
The Fight for justice did not end with the Emancipation Proclamation. In fact, the ending of slavery gave rise to new forms of enslavement and incarceration. This film combines archival footage with key interviews to give us a modern interpretation of the 13th Amendment and its long-standing repercussions.
Being a Good Ancestor: Perspectives to Consider as Another Year Goes By
This podcast is one inspiration for June’s newsletter. In it, Layla Saad interviews changemakers to find out how they act as good ancestors. Hear new strategies for thinking of the future and our impact on it.
Queer ancestors project aims to connect queer folks to resources and free workshops to forge relationships with their ancestors. Check out their website to find out how you can get involved.
Learn Responsibly: Parting Thoughts on Pride and Juneteenth Resources
Think of this post as an invitation to deepen your learning on specific topics and identities and take action. Be especially mindful if you feel the need to ask your friends, family, and community to educate you on race, gender, sexuality, or other identity-based experiences. These conversations have the potential to bring up emotional triggers and re-traumatize; not to mention that you’re making them do the hard work that you could and should be doing yourself.
We hope your month is full of reflection, connection, celebration, and growth. We will be back next month with a new set of resources.
Until then, follow us on social media and subscribe to our email list.