Brands should think carefully about Juneteenth approach

Some people believe brands will commercialize the holiday and detract from its meaning.

The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday evening declaring June 19, also known as Juneteenth, a federal holiday. The bill will be presented to the House where it is expected to pass easily, and then on to President Biden for his signature. 

If passed, Juneteenth will become the 12th federal holiday. 

While Black people have been celebrating Juneteenth as the official emancipation of slavery for decades, corporate America hasn’t always paid attention. Now that the holiday is federally recognized, people shared mixed reactions on social media. Some people believe it is a symbolic move rather than a sign of real change. 

People also worry that brands will commercialize and capitalize on the holiday, which is historically a day of Black joy and celebrations as it recognizes the enforcement of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas.

Still, others see Juneteenth as an opportunity to elevate Black-owned brands and creators — as long as they are included and compensated equitably.

So how should brands commemorate Juneteenth? Campaign US readers shared mixed responses, with 43.3% voting that brands should make donations to Black organizations.

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