How do I use Juneteenth to communicate to my Little they belong?
- Recognize and acknowledge the biases and/or prejudices people of color (neighbors, strangers, colleagues, friends, Bigs, Littles) may face on daily basis.
- If you are white, be willing to acknowledge that you may not know how to respond to the pain Black citizens experience due to bias, but that you are always willing to learn.
If your Little is Black, affirm Blackness by emphasizing the importance of them being proud of their beauty, style, culture, and community. Reaffirm your commitment to always give them space to express their beauty, style, culture, and community. If your Little is white, help them explore how important it is to stand up for those who are being hurt by bias.
Discussion Guide for Bigs with Littles
The purpose of this discussion guide is to provide a series of prompting questions that can lead to meaningful conversations about the history of Black people living in America. It is also designed to acknowledge the wrongdoings of America in enslaving Black people while giving Littles an opportunity to give voice to the effects of that pain.
- Do you know what the Emancipation Proclamation was? What did it do for Black people? Did you know that not all Black people were free from slavery after the Emancipation proclamation? Why do you think that was?
- How do you think enslaved people felt when the Union general rode into Galveston, Texas and announced that the slaves were free? How does it make you feel to know that slaves didn’t know they were free?
- Is there a time you felt like you didn’t belong because of how you look or how people perceived you?
- What do you think causes some people to want/need other people feel like they don’t belong?
- What are some ways Black people continue to thrive in America despite mistreatment? What are some things we can do together to support Black people in our community?
- Do you think there are other parts of American history we should endeavor to learn? What plans could you make?
Why is Juneteenth important to Big Brothers Big Sisters?
Core Value: Belonging, Inclusivity and Genuineness (B.I.G)
The enslavement of Africans is most accurately defined as chattel slavery. This means Africans brought to America were not indentured servants forced to labor in the fields but labeled as the personal property of slaveowners with ownership – extending to the enslaved children and children’s children. The cultural and social effects of having an entire human population belong to America for the purposes of commodification has resulted in the continued dehumanization of Black people living in America.
A core value of BBBS is belonging and the creation of a culture of inclusivity where our Black Littles are affirmed, valued and worthy of a space that allows them to bring their whole self. Juneteenth is our opportunity to celebrate what the ancestors of our Littles have overcome reaffirming our commitment to always empower their potential.
A little about Juneteenth
- Juneteenth is part of American history, not just African American history.
- It was the day a Union general rode into Galveston, TX and announced the Civil War had ended and the last enslaved Africans living in America were free from slavery. It is also known as Black Independence Day.
- It is recognized in all 50 states.