Independence Day on Parade

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
juneteenth parade


Turn on YouTube, Instagram or any social medium, and you will see Juneteenth means many things to different people.  For some, Juneteenth may mean business recognition, a Google Doodle that oddly tells people to keep marching, and for the non-Melanated –  a day to talk about the upcoming election. Juneteenth is not a marketing tactic. It is not a reason to place items on sale. But in 2020, it may mean the beginning of understanding why it is important for Black people, Africans brought to America, African Americans; to regain what they lost.

To reclaim our Independence. To truly have our own. To let our people know we are here for each other. Stand up and take recognition of our power as a union. For too many years we have danced around the idea that we need to look to others to define who we are. What beauty is. What language to speak. How to talk. What our lifestyle should be like. What fashion means and what spending power represents. If we say its “dope” – then someone else makes millions from it. Resurrecting Juneteenth is a reminder to us that we indeed have Independence. Least we be reminded what Independence means:


  • Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority.
  • Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

Buy Black, By Black. 

keeyhari shoes

Juneteenth is not one day of solidarity (remember Black Solidarity Day?), that gets erased from the calendar. Or just the one day we remind the world

hello…slavery is over.

It is now the gateway to our world, everyday. A world where we step into in our own shoes. Dare I say, the end of rapping about Gucci, or LV or Ralph Lauren or any of these brands that do not have our best interests in mind. Independent from others for livelihood or subsistence.

When we are wrapped up in US society of hustling for the American Dream – it is easy to forget that we exist. Here is a round up of sites to peruse to continue the momentum beyond a trend, after the fad, when the clean up starts and wash takes over. Our Independence Day is everyday.

Black Parade Route


Beyoncé overhauled her site with the Black Parade Route. A guide for all things black owned from shoes, fashion, to skin care, to home decor. Curated by Zerina Aker – founder of Black.Owned.Everything. The site also made sure to bring us back to center with a reminder to “say her name” (Breonna Taylor) – a Call To Action Button that leads to Until Freedom.  An inter-sectional social justice organization rooted in the leadership of diverse people of color to address systemic and racial injustice.

Happy Juneteenth.Being Black is your activism. Black excellence is a form of protest. Black joy is your right. “Black Parade” benefits BeyGOOD’s Black Business Impact Fund, administered by the National Urban League, to support Black-owned small businesses in need.

Take a look at the Footwear designers who made it to the Parade on our Instagram page!


Official Black Wall Street


If Juneteenth is on your mind – then so should be the Official Black Wall Street. Started by Mandy Bowman after reading ‘Riot and Remembrance: The Tulsa Race War and Its Legacy’ by James S. Hirsch. Bowman turned her discovery into an entrepreneurial platform and app to locate and discover Black owned businesses since 2016.



If you know someone with a business – check out Black.Owned.Everything and register your business. With so much momentum on, we expect this directory to evolve into a museum-worthy destination.

Shoppe Black


An editorial style marketplace founded by husband and wife team, Tony O. Lawson and Shantrelle P. Lewis. Shoppe Black gives you the 411 on each company from technology to real estate. Each business is given an in-debt feature to get to know who is behind your new favorite brand.

We Buy Black


Straight forward. We Buy Black is a global amazon-style marketplace attracting sellers and buyers from the US and all over the world. Cleaning products, electronics, children’s toys, resellers and more reside here. There is nothing you cannot find that you need or want on this site.



Calling us home is A fantastic destination for fashion and beauty and home (one of my favorite places to shop online). Representing design houses from several countries along the mother continent. There is something for everyone – women, men and children.

And I am sure there are more. There are tons more. Perhaps one day someone will combine all of these marketplaces and create the “Zamunda” of online shopping!

If you want to learn about organizations, read more about Black Design Collective HERE.

Ruth E. Carter Has Scholarship Named In Her Honor.

If you know of a Black-Owned footwear, accessory or lifestyle brand that needs a light – please email:

As I mentioned, Juneteenth is not a day to catch a good sale. It is recognizing a people. A nation. There were many parades and celebratory events around the country. Social distance was put on hold to show up and represent. From Austin to the Brooklyn Bridge, Juneteenth as a National holiday is sweeping the country amidst riots, looting, shootings, calls for police de-funding and whole departments abandoned, murdering and wrongful detention of Black people. What started out as a cry for justice has reverberated as far as Germany, UK and Nairobi. Juneteenth 2020 will resound beyond my years.


P.S. This post was written with a mixture of emotions. This time is a mixture of emotions. I am encouraging the everlasting practice of Independence for Black people here in the US and around the world. I will always stand up for my people. We are here.

Tanita Gray

Editor-In-Chief, Publisher and Founder of, and CEO of Shoes Waste. Gray is a footwear, accessory and apparel designer/developer by day - writer and content architect by night. With over 17 years of experience in the fashion industry, you can find her teaching sustainability classes, drawing thumbnails, writing in her journal, giving her husband & children enormous hugs, or eating french fries.

You may also like...

Popular Articles...