To commemorate Juneteenth, Alexis Bradley and Chanté Stutznegger from Let’s Talk Sis, came to Good Things Utah to share and educate viewers on how they can celebrate. Junteenth honors the emancipation of over 250,000 enslaved people that took place on Jun. 19, 1865. The holiday has also been known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day and Freedom Day. Although Juneteenth has been observed since 1866, it did not become a federal holiday until Jun. 17, 2021. Juneteenth is observed every June 19, unless it falls on a weekend in which case the holiday is observed on the following Monday.
Here in Utah there is a fascination with family history and ancestors, which is why it is important to connect to this part of history and learn more. Bradley and Stutznegger, who are sisters, brought their favorite treats and books to celebrate Juneteenth. The sister duo shared children’s books which are a great resource for kids and adults. The books were ‘Juneteenth for Mazie’ by Floyd Cooper, a book where the protagonists talks with her grandfather about the Juneteenth history, and ‘All Different Now’, by Angela Johnson, which shares the perspective of what it felt to experience freedom after being enslaved.
Bradley and Stutznegger also shared the importance of the color red, which was also the color of all of their treats. “The color red is really a big part of Juneteenth and the meaning behind the celebration.” The sisters brought watermelon, strawberries, strawberry soda and red velvet cupcakes, which are just a few examples of the dishes used to celebrate the holiday. “There’s lots of traditional foods for Juneteenth. Black eyed peas, collard greens, grilled barbeque food, but red, the symbolism is to honor those people who died during the Transatlantic Slave Trade.” The dishes are an opportunity to honor and connect with those who died and stories were lost. There is also symbolism in these dishes with ties to West Africa, where most enslaved people had ties to.
Bradley and Stutznegger say viewers can celebrate Juneteenth by attending events throughout the state including Ogden and Gateway Mall. There are multiple events in numerous counties in Utah. The sisters also say these are great opportunities to meet new people and learn more and support Black owned businesses in Utah.
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