Juneteenth is this week. In the event you are new to the conversation, Juneteenth marks June 19, 1865 when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas were told they were free. For 155 years, the day has been celebrated in various cities across America. This year the number of celebrations and observances are expected to be larger than ever. Some brands have announced a paid day off for employees while others are planning moments of reflection.
As brands began to email and call BSM Media asking for advice, we turned to our MomSelect community. We opened a dialogue with the thousands of Mom Influencers of Color in MomSelect around what brands need to know about Juneteenth. Rather than hear from me, I believe it’s far more relevant and important to hear from Mom Influencers of Color. We want to amply their voice.
We have also assembled a list of well written blog posts by these women that are an excellent place to start in educating your teams:
- 25 Ideas to Help You Celebrate Juneteenth by @thecubiclechick
- What is Juneteenth and Why Celebrate It by @datingmyspouse
Q: “What Do Brands Need to Know about Juneteenth?”
“Juneteenth is our Independence Day. It is important to remember that when America gained her independence from Britain, that didn’t include Black people in this country. We as Black peoples didn’t gain our independence until nearly 100 years later and even then, the systematic effects remained long after and continue to remain today.” @chatwithbee
“I think brands need to take the time to learn about it and determine what they want to say about it from an authentic place. They need to think about not only acknowledging it but observing it as well. It’s a collective time of learning and moving forward equipped with new knowledge and handling ourselves accordingly with that new knowledge. But don’t just be out here picking up sound bites and whatnot. Black people are not here for it and we are seeing through all of that which is fake.” @KenyaRaeAtHome
“I would say that while I think it’s a positive move for brands to honor Juneteenth, their content and selections should be from Black voices in the space. This is not the time to try to use this conversation for a brand message. It is the time to listen to Black folk in the space who have often been ignored or not amplified by brands for the very reasons and issues we are now having conversations about. Amplify, not hijack.” @thecubiclechick
“I think what I would want anyone to know is that the commitment to diversity and inclusion, of all kinds, is a lifestyle, company culture, and way of being. Organizations need to be restructured till these efforts are who they are, and not just good optics, while also understanding the realities in time and costs to do so.” @girlgonetravel
“I just want brands to understand that this isn’t a “holiday”. Yes, it is commemorating the face that the last slaves were freed. But it took 2 ½ years for it to be done. It is a day for reflection and education. Black people want to be seen and recognized right now and this is a good opportunity for White people to do this. I would caution brands to not have an overly celebratory message. Especially right now. Amplify Black voices. Showcase the diversity with Black families. I wish more companies right now would seek out Black voices to speak to. Now is the time for them to listen. Not talk.” @mamaliciousmaria
“I think that the Juneteenth recognition needs to come from a place of education. Perhaps brands can approach it from that perspective. As a Black women in America not from Texas, I became aware of Juneteenth fairly recently, within the last decade. So I spent 40 years in this country not knowing that there were enslaved Africans that remained in servitude long after the Emancipation Proclamation. As an educator and parent, it is my responsibility to ensure that my son and my students are not blind to this aspect of history. Brands can both educate themselves and then provide information about Juneteenth to their clients by supporting organizations that conduct Juneteenth celebrations, that provide resources about Juneteenth – like the Atlanta History Center here in Atlanta which has an entire toolkit for families and people interested in Juneteenth.” @reneejross
BSM Media, Inc. is an award-winning and internationally recognized Marketing to Moms agency specializing in influencer engagement and outreach programs. Their MommyParties, and Social Spotters, services are proven activation tactics used by Fortune 100 to Start Up companies. BSM Media also owns and operates multiple influencer communities including MomSelect.com, MillennialInfluencers.com and GenZInfluencers.com with over 30,000 influencers representing all levels of incluence, ethnicity, race, and social engagement.
Maria Bailey is the CEO of BSM Media and the author of “Marketing to Moms: Getting Your Share of the Trillion Dollar Market,” “Power Moms,” “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales,” and the soon to be released “Marketing to Gen Z Moms.” She is a frequent keynote speaker and media expert. She can be reached at Maria@bsmmedia.com. Learn more about Maria Bailey at www.MariaBailey.com.