Jun 03, 2022
Bridgette Williams: The history of Juneteenth began in Galveston, Texas, and it was the time when the last enslaved Americans who were in Galveston, Texas, learned they were free. Growing up in Texas defined my understanding of Juneteenth because I learned it as part of my community, from my elders, my grandparents, my church pastors.
The community celebrations included everything from cookouts to family reunions, Juneteenth pageants, church programs where they started us in Sunday school, and we learned the history. We learned about people like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth. I have members of my family who were bused across town to integrate a school, who couldn't sit somewhere, who couldn't eat somewhere, couldn't use a certain restroom or a water fountain, but I also have members of my own family who will now never be without Juneteenth as a holiday. So what I wanted to do was create something to recognize and acknowledge all those lines.
Dani Knight: This collaboration began when Bridgette sent me a message and just said, "I noticed we don't have any Juneteenth cards, and that's something I'd like to do. Will you help me?"
Bridgette: I brought the words; she brought the vision. I would say something like “rejoice,” and she would come back with her hand-lettered rendition of the word rejoice, and it looked like how I felt.
Dani: We pulled inspiration from a lot of different sources. One of the really big ones was actually the Juneteenth flag and that symbolizes a new beginning. It's a new star.
Bridgette: I wanted to create an heirloom that had that word, “matter.” You matter in love, in fact, in harmony, in writing and in perpetuity.
Dani: We really wanted to show that there is a lot of diversity in the black community and that it doesn't look like just one thing. Family can be defined in a few different ways.
Bridgette: My favorite card of this entire assortment is what we're kind of calling the guided star card.
Dani: We made the decision to show the more modern-day family and the ancestors in the sky. Because it was for kids, we wanted it to be really lush and almost like a storybook illustration.
Bridgette: When I saw Dani's finished version, I got teary. That card is my conversation with my boys. The Walgreens team and the brand as a whole were both amazingly supportive.
Dani: It was definitely something that felt...I knew I needed to really learn a lot to be part of this project because I did not grow up celebrating Juneteenth. Also, [it] kind of came with that responsibility as well, of, like, "You need to do your research and get this right."
Bridgette: For me personally, as I've grown older as well, the definition of Juneteenth has changed over the years. Now it means perseverance, it means knowing your worth, it means fighting for your worth.
Representation, seeing someone who looks like me, that is wellness for me. That's what I'm passionate about. Redefining health and wellness so that it fits people's lives. These cards are definitely a way of giving back and honoring my family and community.