It’s Juneteenth. Please Don’t Buy a Car Today

Juneteenth is not just a celebration; it's a chance to listen, learn, and grow as people. You can shop tomorrow.

Buy A New Acura Suv This Holiday Season

Some holidays are for genuine celebration and reflection, not consumerism.

When Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established I thought, oh, no, here we go again: Another consumer holiday; a day off to rest, relax and shop. 

But instead, the holiday has become one of introspection, of learning and to some who seize the extra day off, an extended weekend that allows more time for reflection. The holiday celebrating Dr. King has empowered conversations in schools and around dinner tables; it’s powered modern civil rights movements; it’s inspired us to all know that even though we are just one person, we can make a difference.

Inspired by the Juneteenth Story

Juneteenth is the name given to the day slavery actually ended: June 19, 1865. While Abraham Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation years before, not all slave owners bothered to share the news with the men and women who worked their properties. Enslaved people were isolated, so it was easy to keep this information from them. The Civil War, too, had lingered on in the form of small, isolated rebellions after General Robert E. Lee surrendered — it was very much the status quo in some parts of the South.

It wasn’t until Union Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with 2,000 federal troops on June 19, 1865 that true emancipation could finally be achieved. On that day, Black Americans were finally endowed some of the rights and ideals upon which the founding fathers had built the United States of America. It would take years to endow Black Americans a full suite of rights — we’re still unwriting the internalized biases that have forced Black communities onto the back foot for centuries — but it was a tangible step in securing genuine personhood for a group that had been so brutally denied this.

Juneteenth celebrations began the very next year and have continued every since, often in predominately Black neighborhoods and in a variety of ways: barbecues, parades, and even just family get-togethers. Now, it’s become a federal holiday.

Related: How the Automobile Helped Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Civil Rights in America


Olabisi Boyle, Vice President of Product and Mobility at Hyundai, was shot at her neighborhood shoe store when she was 14. After she healed, she used the experience to forge a successful and inspiring career. Photo: Hyundai

What Are You Doing This Year? I’m Planning to Listen and Learn

This year on Juneteenth I plan to learn. To watch my media feeds and see how my Black friends celebrate. To reflect on my past lack of understanding of the holiday and how understanding it shapes my thinking now. To think about the misguided definitions of freedom and equality in our country and how we can correct the course. 

Learning and understanding what underlies inequality is the first step to eradicating it. And if you don’t know what I mean, think about your right to vote, your right to drive, your right to learn. If you’re female, someone advocated for those rights on your behalf.

I won’t pretend to understand what it feels like to be among the ignored and overlooked, but I do try, and do believe that with work, I can understand and more greatly appreciate others who are different than me.

Related: Creating a Place at the Table: Introducing the Women of Color Automotive Network


Keitha Blackburn, manager of experiential marketing at Porsche, transformed her love of cars into a lifetime of mentorship. Photo: Keitha Blackburn

Empower Others… and Go Shopping Later

That is why A Girls Guide to Cars is here: to empower every woman who dreams of a career in automotive, every girl who wants to race, every woman who wants to feel equal in the place she decides to be. As we grow, together, we raise each other up. So I plan to spend my day learning how to do that. I hope you will, too.

You can always shop tomorrow. 

Related: What Drives Her: Sandra Phillips Rogers, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Diversity Officer, Is Driving Toyota to a Great Future

Journalist, entrepreneur and mom. Expertise includes new cars, family cars, 3-row SUVs, child passenger car seats and automotive careers... More about Scotty Reiss