Reverence, Remembrance, and Celebration

Through intentional planning and organizing, Mx. Juneteenth will capture the spirit of the Juneteenth holiday by providing a liberatory space that adheres to a Black queer feminist praxis that centers abolition, community, solidarity with all oppressed communities, and anti-bigotry. Mx. Juneteenth is a space that explicitly promotes an environment of respect, civility, and liberation that is free of harassment and police presence.

What Juneteenth is not

Juneteenth has historically been under taught or unacknowledged. As a result, there has been a lot of confusion about what Juneteenth actually is and what it verily commemorates. We should clear this up for the purpose of truth-telling & telling full histories.

Juneteenth does NOT mark the abolition of slavery. There is also the misconception that slavery ended 2 years prior to Juneteenth.

When folks say that slavery "ended 2 years prior to Juneteenth," they're likely referring to the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 - which only abolished slavery in Confederate states. Enslaved populations in Union/border states, like New Jersey, Delaware, Kentucky, for example, were not "freed" until the ratification of the 13th amendment, which came later in 1865.

Even then, enslavers withheld that information. No reparations or land distribution held formerly enslaved populations in exploitative agricultural labor contracts (sharecropping, for example), & enslavement was and is still legal through imprisonment.

The Emancipation Proclamation, Juneteenth, nor the 13th amendment *ended* slavery. Certainly not as a legal status, an ideology, or a practice. However, those moments did end intergenerational, chattel slavery

What Juneteenth celebrates

After a war had been fought and legislation had been signed, enslavement in Texas remained largely intact. It wasn't until a full two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, on June 19th, 1865; federal troops traveled to Galveston, Texas to ensure that all enslaved people had been freed.

In 1866, newly freed communities (also known as "freedmen") in Texas organized a celebration to be held annually on June 19th titled "Jubilee Day" and Juneteenth was born. Jubilee featured music, barbecues, religious services, and more. Juneteenth began to spread to other parts of the country to commemorate the holiday.

Why you should celebrate Juneteenth with us

As many are aware, Juneteenth became a federal holiday in 2021. We do not center federal legislation or recognition at Mx. Juneteenth. Framing it from that angle centers our oppressors. With a very unique and intentional focus on Black Queerness, intersectionality, community care, and expressive joy - we attempt to capture the true spirit of Jubilee Day. We recognize that Juneteenth was not something that was given to us, but something we took and claimed for ourselves!

Words by Founder Avery L. Ware