Every year, on June 19, Black people in America celebrate their independence or Emancipation Day AKA Juneteenth. The holiday commemorates the moment when news that President Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation hit the Confederate states. Even though Lincoln delivered that address on January 1, 1863, declaring that all people being held as slaves “henceforward shall be free,” that message was deliberately withheld from many Black Americans, as some slaveholders were not willing to communicate the news. Once General Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate States Army, resigned and Union General Gordon Granger was given command of the District of Texas, Granger made an effort to enforce Lincoln's orders. On June 19, he issued General Order No. 3 in Galveston, Texas citing that “in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”
And thus, the Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and 19th, was born, when 46 states and the District of Columbia commemorate freedom from slavery. (Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota have not formally recognized Juneteenth as a holiday.) While Juneteenth is not a federal holiday yet, that has not stopped Black Americans from celebrating the day in their Sundays' best with festivals, parties, and family gatherings.
Here at Refinery29, every occasion is one that calls for shopping, and considering how often Etsy is our go-to for vintage finds and politically-aware T-shirts, we're turning to Etsy to celebrate the holiday with some of favorite Black-owned design shops. It's not reparations, but it is an opportunity to put money directly into the hands of Black sellers — and add some fun jewelry, handbags, and swimsuits to your wardrobe while you're at it.
Click ahead to shop.