On June 17, 2021, Congress ratified a bill that was signed into law by President Biden declaring June 19th (“Juneteenth”) a Federal holiday. June 19th each year represents an important moment for Black Americans as it was the day in 1865 when enslaved people were finally delivered the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas, the last Confederate state with institutional slavery.

There has long been a movement to federally recognize this important holiday, so 2021’s bill comes as a small step in the process toward reparations for the families of those individuals who were enslaved. Within DBT we often talk about different ways to validate (recognize and acknowledge someone’s experience, fully). Federal recognition of this holiday, and space for folks to celebrate it, is an important step towards fully validating the experience of Black individuals in the USA, AND much more needs to be done to continue to functionally validate (validate with actions) from a national standpoint. Recognizing both basic validation (simple recognition and full attention) and functional validation (validation with action) as important to fully honor individuals lets us mindfully attend to our own blindspots, and look for what we are missing.

If you’d like more information about the history of Black Americans in the US, you can visit the Black Holocaust Website: abhmuseum.org.

Additionally, the Northcott Neighborhood House 51st Juneteenth Jubilee Parade is scheduled for June 19th, 2022 from 9am-11am. Further information on the parade can be found on the Northcott Neighborhood House website: https://northcotthouse.org.