How Celebrities Are Honoring Juneteenth This Year

Stars are observing the holiday by giving back and educating themselves and their fans on the significance of the oldest-known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. 

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The singer announced that she will be holding a silent auction and raffle to fundraise for Black organizations and businesses, specifically in the Twin Cities.

For more information and ways to participate, go to

02 of 16


After successfully helping to declare Juneteenth a holiday in his home state of Virginia, the musician posted a poignant quote and illustration from bestselling author Vashti Harrison to commemorate the day.

03 of 16

April D. Ryan

The White House correspondent posted an educational video clip that explains the history of the holiday, as told by editor Taryn Finley at HuffPost Black Voices.

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"Juneteenth is a reminder to African Americans that our ancestors never gave up the hope of freedom," the rapper captioned his Instagram post. "It reminds us that we can create and build our communities even when we seem to have nothing. Because when the slaves were sent free, their houses were burned down, their farm animals were killed and their wells of water were depleted. And yet we still rose up to build flourishing communities and infrastructure."

He added, "Juneteenth is a reminder that we can make something out of nothing and that despair can give birth to a history of GREATNESS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO RISE STRONGER OVER AND OVER AGAIN ✊🏾."

05 of 16

Taylor Swift

The star shared an informational video from The Root, led by Danielle Young, to help educate her 135 million followers before announcing that she has given all of her employees June 19th off from now on.

She ended her note, writing, "For my family, everything that has transpired recently gives us an opportunity to reflect, listen, and reprogram any part of our lives that hasn't been loudly and ferociously anti-racist, and to never let privilege lie dormant when it could be used to stand up for what's right."

06 of 16

Selena Gomez

Leading up to Juneteenth, Gomez had 12 influential Black figures — including Jelani Cobb, Stacey Abrams, Kendrick Sampson, Kimberlé Crenshaw and more — take over her Instagram to help educate her 180 million followers on social, political and and economic discrimination against Black communities.

"It's not lost on me how fortunate I am to have this platform and appreciate you all for taking the time to watch, listen and take in the powerful messages and information we've been provided over the last two weeks by some of the most inspiring people I've come across in my life," she wrote. "If you missed any of these incredible IG stories they are all saved in my Story Highlights under #BLM and #BLM2. This is just the beginning and we will continue to hear from other Black voices and as well as other marginalized communities I am committed to doing the work and I hope you join me."

07 of 16

Ellen DeGeneres

DeGeneres enlisted Kalen Allen to takeover her Instagram for the holiday.

Allen posted the news on his Instagram as well, announcing that he would have special guests Angelica Ross, DeRay Mckesson and Stephen "tWitch" Boss participating in conversations during his #kalentakeover.

"So buckle up everybody because y'all gon learn our history!" he wrote.

08 of 16

Rhiannon Giddens &Yo-Yo Ma

Giddens released a brand new song, featuring the famed cellist, called "Build a House," to mark the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth.

"This song came knocking about a week ago and I had to open the door and let it in. What can I say about what's been happening, what has happened, and what is continuing to happen, in this country, in the world? There's too many words and none, all at once. So I let the music speak, as usual," she captioned her clip. "What a thing to mark this 155th anniversary of Juneteenth with that beautiful soul, @yoyoma. Honored to have it out in the world."

09 of 16

Elizabeth Warren

The senator from Massachusetts posted a video detailing the history behind the oldest-known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.

"Juneteenth is a celebration—but it's also a necessary reminder that 155 years later, Black Americans still feel the weight of government-sponsored racism and discrimination," she captioned her video.

"Let's continue to defend the unshakeable truth that Black families matter and Black lives matter."

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Nikki Bella

The star posted informational slides from Naomi Genota to help educate her followers, noting, "Swipe left if you are unsure what today means. And know it's ok, better to know now then never know at all."

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Lionel Richie

"June 19th, 1865.... the final federal orders were read in Galveston, TX freeing the last slaves in the United States. Today, 155 years later, we still face the scars that Slavery has left on this country," the music legend shared on Instagram. "#Juneteenth is a day of celebration, but more importantly it is a day of remembrance of a painful past we must acknowledge in the hope for a better and brighter tomorrow."

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Spike Lee

The filmmaker honored iconic Black figures Muhammad Ali, Marvin Gaye, Malcolm X, Tommie Smith, John Carlos, Kwame Ture, Angela Davis and Bobby Seale in his latest Instagram post, as seen in the full clip here.

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Swizz Beatz

"HAPPY JUNETEENTH LETS GET THAT ENERGY UP🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤 Love y'all blessings 🖤🖤🖤🖤🖤," the artist captioned his positive clip.

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Gabrielle Union-Wade

"#Juneteenth 🖤🖤🖤🖤✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾✊🏾," the actress began her post. "Claim your freedom, your equality, your fight, your love, your joy, your rage. Keep fighting!! Arrest the killers of #BreonnaTaylor !!!!!!!!"

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Kamala Harris

Sen. Harris is calling for Juneteenth to be a national holiday, writing, "My colleagues and I are introducing a bill to make it one. We still have work to do but let us never lose hope that change will come."

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Killer Mike

The rapper and activist shared important information on the history of the disenfranchisement of Black Americans and the progress he would like to see, captioning his clip, "Speak Truth To Power."

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