Memorial Day is just a weekend away. Obviously, it’s a day set aside to honor those who have lost their lives while serving in the Unites States armed forces. As a federal holiday, it also means that most of us get a much-needed Monday off of work. The day marks the unofficial beginning of summer and all of the magical memories that come with it: rooftop parties, beach house parties, outdoor festivals and after-parties, and low-key parties like cookouts.
It’s also the season for white dresses and shoes, if you abide by seasonal fashion restrictions. If you’re Black, I can confirm that you haven’t lived a full life if you have never attended or thrown an all-white affair. Trust me on this. Family reunions, cookouts, barbecues, back-to-school bashes, and all other summer party activities are excuse enough to put on your best white linens and turn all the way up. And this is just one of the reasons why Memorial Days is so important to Black people, specifically.
Unbeknownst to many, Memorial Day actually has special significance for Black Americans, as we are credited for starting the tradition that spawned the holiday. After the Civil War ended in 1865, a group of over 10,000 newly freed slaves traveled to Hampton Park and laid flowers over unmarked graves to honor those who fought for the Northern Union forces. This act caught national attention and became known as Decoration Day. It was later transformed into the Memorial Day we know today. So as it stands, Black people are responsible for two (Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Memorial Day) out of the four national holidays that spare you a case of the Mondays. Stay woke.
It seems only right, then, that you should kick off summer 2017 well prepared. I have created a playlist with some of the best hip-hop and R & B jams for your #Summer17 soiree. These songs will set the mood for a chill kickback or a full-out backyard bash. I even added a little something to the list in case you wanted to invite your parents. Put this on shuffle and let the good times roll!