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.
The Senate unanimously passed Juneteenth as a holiday.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) June 16, 2021
They won’t pass anti-lynching, reparations, police reform, or voting rights legislation.
We’re tired of symbolism and no substance.
Instead of a day off, pay reparations, stop lynching us and stop violating our rights.
So the Senate can vote unanimously to make Juneteenth a holiday but can't pass the Anti-Lynching bill? pic.twitter.com/z89ZFChby3— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) June 15, 2021
The cops are going to kill another Black person during Juneteenth weekend but at least the white establishment has decided to acknowledge the holiday with a vote & a hashtag logo— DEFUND & ABOLISH POLICE, REFUND OUR COMMUNITIES (@BreeNewsome) June 15, 2021
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.
Juneteenth becoming mainstream is actually gonna piss me off— Muted. Argue with yourself. (@___inCANdescent) June 15, 2021
Brands I promise you, not having a Juneteenth sale/promo/whatever is ok. I'd much rather you focus on diversifying your staff, suppliers and divesting your corporate donations from racist politicians and policies.— E. May (@edotmay) June 15, 2021
Sigh a girl can dream though... https://t.co/GaDYaL5Orb
How brands should approach Juneteenth?— Codi (@Codishaa) June 14, 2021
brands getting ready for Juneteenth pic.twitter.com/ENO4DygxIg— brit cabriales (@brit_cab) June 14, 2021
Juneteenth is about to be—or, is in the process of being—commodified by pop culture in a big way and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I was talking to my dad this time last year and he was NOT happy with all these news outlets/brands jumping on the bandwagon of his heritage.— (@tigrr_intherain) June 13, 2021
Brands are about to monetize #Juneteenth. We about to see displays in March and commercials for the annual sale. Red drink on random menus. RBG flag hung up everywhere and they won’t know the meaning.— Dr. Openly Excessively Black & Disabled (She/Her) (@4WheelWorkOut) June 16, 2021
Now watch all these big brands and corporations try to capitalize off of Juneteenth next week— Dr. Bae ⚕️ (@_NellyBrown_) June 13, 2021
I'm more worried about it becoming like Pride or Thanksgiving - total commodification. Juneteenth: brought to you by Chase Texas and Chili's. And let's not be too specific about what slavery looked like, because brands.— Erinn O'Dear (@erinnthered) June 16, 2021
Everything in politics and media has been a low brow attempt at pandering to black people with hollow gestures since Mike Brown like ad campaigns with slogans and what “matters,” painting the streets, “diversity and inclusion” markers. Juneteenth as federal holiday is on brand— Rando Blackwoo (@Tendurag) June 16, 2021
Still, others see Juneteenth as an opportunity to elevate Black-owned brands and creators — as long as they are included and compensated equitably.
When brands want to work with me for Blackity Black holidays like Juneteenth, just know that I’m going to talk about reparations✨✨— IG: theikonickay (@whatKAYsays) June 14, 2021
There is no Juneteenth discussion without reparations.
Juneteenth coming up: Black creators beware of white brands asking you to speak in exchange for exposure across “thousands of engaged subscribers”— Cinneah of Flynanced® (@flynanced) June 9, 2021
STATE YOUR RATES.
So how should brands commemorate Juneteenth? Campaign US readers shared mixed responses, with 43.3% voting that brands should make donations to Black organizations.
all of the above!— ᵀᴿᴵᴸᴸᴵᴼᴺᴬᴵᴿᴱ (@ittrillionaires) June 14, 2021