This Sunday, June 19, 2022 we're actually celebrating two holidays here in the United States: Father's Day and Juneteenth. In this article, we'll be diving into the latter holiday, and ways you can celebrate it on your radio station this year...and every year after!
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the end of traditional slavery in America. On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, the last remaining enslaved African Americans were freed in Galveston, Texas. On Juneteenth, we celebrate African American culture, honor the beauty of freedom, and respect/remember those who have been trapped by the perils of slavery, as well as those who fought against it.
Juneteenth was just made into a federal holiday last year, so if you haven't been celebrating it on your station already, now is the time to start! Juneteenth can be commemorated – even on a radio station – in all kinds of ways. Below, we have five ideas for how you and your listeners can honor the holiday.
1. Play Music Fitting for the Holiday
Any kind of music about freedom, specifically music that honors the Black experience, is appropriate to play on Juneteenth! We personally love uplifting tunes that date back to the Civil Rights area, but you could also blast some modern freedom songs made by today's most popular Black artists, or find recordings/covers of freedom songs dating back to the Civil War era and play those. You have plenty of options!
If you need help finding songs, we've got you covered. Live365 has already created 3 playlists fit for Juneteenth. Check them out below!
- Juneteenth: A Musical History of Freedom
- 10 Songs to Learn About the Black Experience
- 10 More Songs to Learn About the Black Experience
2. Feature Up-and-Coming Black Artists on Your Show
Since Juneteenth is all about celebrating African American culture, use the day to support your Black brothers and sisters! They can be musicians, podcasters, or even fellow radio broadcasters like you. No matter who they are, make sure to give them some time in the spotlight.
If you're supporting a musician, you could either play their songs on air and give some info about them, or even invite them into your own studio to perform live! If they're podcasters or broadcasters, interview them on your show or maybe play some games together. Once you're done featuring your guest(s), make sure to let interested listeners know how they can find more of their work.
3. Discuss Juneteenth with an Expert
Since Juneteenth is still a very new federal holiday, there may be some listeners out there unsure of how to celebrate. Using your on-air powers as a broadcaster could bring some clarity. A polite and informative discussion about the holiday with an expert would be both an entertaining and resourceful piece of content for your audience. To help the holiday grow, spread the word about it!
Find someone who is very well-versed in African American history and/or culture, and ask them some questions. If you don't have any related professors, teachers, or scholars in mind, we highly recommend reaching out to Black talk show personalities/podcasters who have produced projects relating to the Black experience for this. For example, anyone on our Black History Month podcast list would be a good person to feature.
4. Raise Money for a Charity/Organization that Supports Anti-Racism
When in doubt, go the fundraising route! Using your platform to raise money for an anti-racist charity/organization – particularly an organization that raises awareness about African American issues – is a very generous way to celebrate Juneteenth. You could create a raffle and announce your winner on air, match certain donation amounts with gifts, or have very special guests ask your listeners to donate to your cause.
Gifts could include your radio station merch, Juneteenth-related items, or presents made by Black-owned businesses. Get creative with it!
If you're looking for a good anti-racist charity to support, click here for some ideas.
5. Promote Black-Owned Businesses
Speaking of Black-owned businesses...Juneteenth is the best day to support Black business owners and their crafts! You could feature a Black business owner on your show and try out their product on air, have your listeners buy one of their items at their store (and show proof) for a chance to win a prize, or again – give the Black-owned business products away as gifts for whoever donates to your fundraiser.
And along with all these tips, make sure to celebrate Juneteenth on your station's social media accounts and/or website if you have those! We hope you all have a very wonderful Juneteenth this year (and a happy Father's Day, too!) and we'll post more radio station tips for you soon. Happy broadcasting!
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Article Image: A red, yellow, and green abstract banner for Juneteenth. In the center, it reads "Juneteenth: celebrate freedom." (Caelestiss via DepositPhotos.)