Canada Canada does not have a Juneteenth celebration — and we don't need one
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AMC Entertainment will present a weeklong AMC Black Picture Showcase at select theaters nationwide starting Friday to celebrate Juneteenth. The newly established national holiday commemorates the abolishment of slavery in the U.S. The exhibitor said tickets will cost $5 to shows of “classic, contemporary and culturally relevant, black-led films.” The seven films in the lineup include: Do The Right Thing; Harriet; The Water Man; Fences; Moonlight; Barbershop: The Next Cut; and Love & Basketball.
After the murder of George Floyd was captured and shared around the world last summer, many white communities found themselves thrust into what can best be defined as the.
Prior to the killing of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and many other Black victims also lost their lives to state-sponsored violence in 2020. But the eight-minute-and-46-second video of Floyd's demise became the catalyst for a deluge of corporate and political anti-racism declarations.
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The actual follow-through on those declarations has been largely, but organizations and governments alike are still trying to find ways to appeal to the Black community. In North America, one publicized aspect of the outreach has been the institution of federal holidays to commemorate important dates in national (Black) history.
On June 17, U.S. President Joe Bidenthe Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, turning June 19 into a federal holiday. The date is significant to African Americans, as June 19, 1865, marks the day the last enslaved Black folks, located in Galveston, Texas, were made aware that they were free as per President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation from 1863.
In Canada a few months earlier, MPs in the House of Commons voted toAug. 1 as Emancipation Day across the nation, in acknowledgement of Aug. 1, 1834, the day the British Empire officially abolished slavery.
#ICYMI: Petry as villain (and hero), COVID deniers, Juneteenth holiday, more news
In 2020, the pandemic caused 5,400 more deaths in Quebec than normally occur, according to a study published Thursday by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec. Andy Riga has the details along with the rest of Thursday’s pandemic developments in his daily blog. Read it here . Here are some other reports you might have missed: In Jeff Petry news Jeff Petry’s eyes looked like something out of a horror movie ???? pic.twitter.com/HtKrzyIONH — Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) June 17, 2021 Stu Cowan: Canadiens’ Petry looks like a villain but plays like a hero. Read here . (More Habs headlines below) In Quebec news Face to face with COVID deniers in the ICU.
While these two federal declarations may seem very similar, the reality is that they are actually quite different. Juneteenth is not Emancipation Day, and Emancipation Day is not Juneteenth.
Not only does the Black Canadian community not have a Juneteenth celebration, Black Canadians don't need one.
A Black-led celebration
Although Juneteenth is a 155-year-old event dating back to the originalby newly freed Black men and women on June 19, 1866, a new found that 68 per cent of white American adults either knew "a little bit" or "nothing at all" about Juneteenth.
The reason is that Juneteenth has always been a Black-led, Black-organized and Black-celebrated tradition originating throughout the South during Reconstruction.
"Juneteenth is our 4th of July," Shanita Hubbard, a U.S. author and journalism instructor at the University of Toronto, told CBC. "We really didn't need the federal government to recognize it in order for it to be legitimate. We legitimized it on our own."
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n the US will be commemorative day "Juneteenth", which marks the end of slavery, in the future committed as a nationwide holiday. President Joe Biden put a corresponding legal template after the adoption by both chambers of the congress on Thursday in the White House with his signature in force. © DPA Joe Biden, President of the United States, signs the adoption of the memorial "Juneteenth". On June 19, the end of slavery is thought of in the US.
While slavery was ostensibly banned, it was actually enshrined in the U.S. constitution through a clause in the, which states that slavery can still exist as a punishment for crime, which opened the door to mass incarceration. And yet, the celebration of Juneteenth continued.
Video: Black Lives Matter marks Juneteenth in Ottawa with protest (cbc.ca)
While white citizens and political organizations banded together to undo all the political and social progress gained by Black folks by instituting the racial caste system known as Jim Crow, Black folks continued the tradition.
While the violence from white domestic terror groups such as theand the Ku Klux Klan got so bad that it led to the Great Migration of African Americans moving throughout the United States, Black folks continued the tradition in their new locales.
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Another shot at love. Two years after losing his wife, Michael Allio is competing for Katie Thurston’s heart on season 17 of The Bachelorette. The 37-year-old Ohio native revealed to Katie, 30, that he has a son during the June 7 premiere of the ABC series. He added that he’s allowed to FaceTime James daily while living at the New Mexico resort for the show. Michael welcomed James with wife Laura Ritter-Allio in September 2016, four years after the twosome walked down the aisle. The couple met while attending Loyola University in Chicago. Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and died two years later. He referred to his late spouse as his and James’ “magnificent angel” in a tribute on their son’s 4th birthday last year. “And trust me when I say this … your beautiful mother … is so incredibly proud of you. She tells me this all the time Watching you grow and being by your side through this crazy journey has been nothing short of perfect,” Michael wrote via Instagram in September 2020. “Your smile lifts me when I’m weak and your eyes give me the unique gift of being able to see this world for the first time. There is NOTHING in this life more important than YOU and I’ll dedicate my life to ensuring that you hear and feel that as much as humanly possible. And while I feel your hand slowly growing inside mine, please know, that you’ll always be my baby. Forever.
As historian Isabel Wilkerson writes in The Warmth of Other Suns, "The people from Texas took Juneteenth Day to Los Angeles, Oakland, Seattle, and other places they went."
While Black folks, like the rest of the country, may have had to clock in at work on June 19 for the past 154 celebrations, the significance of the date has been embedded in the African American community thanks to their perseverance.
A different experience in Canada
The history of the Black community in Canada is, for many reasons, unique from the Black legacy in the United States. Whilethan 10 per cent of the Black American collective is foreign-born, Statistics Canada reports that than 10 per cent of Black Canadians were born to parents also born in Canada (compared to 58.4 per cent of Canada's total population).
As of 2016, around half of Canada's Black population identified as immigrants, with the single largest period of Black immigration being 2001 to 2010. These Black immigrants come mostly from countries such as Jamaica, Haiti, Nigeria and Ethiopia — nations with their own unique cultures, faiths and traditions. This does not in any way make the Black Canadian experience less than the African American experience, but it does make it different.
While Canada has a wealth of Black historic communities in, , and , we also have a young and developing Black community made up of first- and second-generation Canadians and their immigrant elders, who are establishing what Black Canadian identity means to them.
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Nia DaCosta sees a direct line from Juneteenth to her new film “Candyman”. In a new video, the director shares her thoughts on the June 19 holiday, which commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas declared an end to slavery. RELATED: Beware The Bees In First Trailer For Jordan Peele’s Updated ‘Candyman’ “In one way,In a new video, the director shares her thoughts on the June 19 holiday, which commemorates the day in 1865 when Texas declared an end to slavery.
"When I think of Emancipation Day, my mind automatically goes to a Caribbean context, as my parents' homeland of Jamaica is one of the islands that also marks the day on August 1st," said Bee Quammie, a London, Ont.-born writer, speaker and educator. She continued to tell CBC, "I didn't learn that there was a Canadian Emancipation Day until adulthood."
Today, Black Canadians either have their centuries-old experience in this nation blindly equated with the experience of American descendants of slavery, or have their current cultural norms compared to those of African Americans. For so many Black Canadians in the latter group, it can be difficult to be fastened to your origins while simultaneously attempting to distinguish what our Black identity is here.
Recognizing our unique and evolving identity is, at this moment, far more important than applying non-nuanced comparisons to our neighbours to the south.
If the federal government truly wants to assist Black Canadian communities, then a priority must be made of supporting our emerging, organic cultural celebrations. For example, for many Black Ontarians, that has looked like, a Caribbean-style street festival created in Toronto in 1967 that has become a massive Black cultural tradition throughout the province.
In truth,the proliferation of police officers and cage-like fences at the parade would, for many Black Ontarians, be a far more significant act than making Aug. 1 Emancipation Day.
It is crucial to understand the similarities of the prejudice that exists throughout the global Black diaspora. Yet it is just as important to understand the nuances that define our specific national and ethnic experiences.
What Canadian citizens, organizations and political bodies must avoid is attempting to conflate the African American experience with the Black Canadian experience.
Emancipation Day is not Canada's Juneteenth celebration, just asis not Canada's Rosa Parks. Canada's Black community does not need tired equivalences to African Americans. What we need is space and support to grow our own legacy in this country.
IKEA Manager Apologizes for Juneteenth Menu Featuring Fried Chicken and Watermelon .
The manager at an IKEA store in Atlanta, Georgia, apologized publicly after facing criticism for a Juneteenth food menu that featured dishes including watermelon, fried chicken, and collard greens. CBS News reported that the manager sent an internal email to staff addressing the issue. The manager's email allegedly read, "I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective. It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.