Honoring Juneteenth in Nashville

Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. This historic day is a time for reflection, celebration, and recognition of the ongoing journey toward equality and justice. In observance of this day, Thistle Farms will be closed as we celebrate Juneteenth in Nashville and reflect on its meaning.

Juneteenth is not only a day to remember the past but also a time to celebrate the rich cultural heritage and contributions of the Black community. Here are a few meaningful ways to honor and uplift the Black community in Nashville:

#1: Listen to Rich Melodies at the National Museum of African American Music

The National Museum of African American Music offers a captivating journey through the diverse sounds that have influenced America's musical landscape. From gospel to hip-hop, the museum highlights the powerful impact of Black musicians on American culture. Spend Juneteenth in Nashville exploring interactive exhibits, listening to iconic recordings, and learning about the artists who have shaped the music we love.

#2: Reflect on the Past to Inspire Future Change with the Equal Justice Initiative

For a deeper understanding of America's history of racial injustice and the ongoing efforts for justice and equality, visit The Legacy Museum's website. This museum, founded by the Equal Justice Initiative, provides a comprehensive narrative of the history of racial injustice in America, from slavery to mass incarceration. Engaging with these resources offers an essential perspective on the historical and contemporary issues facing the Black community.

Thistle Farms x EJI:

Thistle Farms has partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative on the Justice Candle, a symbol of our shared commitment to justice and equity. All proceeds from the Justice Candle go to the Equal Justice Initiative, Thistle Farms, and Homeboy Industries. As Becca Stevens, Founder of Thistle Farms, wisely states, "Justice is a noncompetitive sport."


#3: Explore the National Museum of African American History and Culture Exclusive Online Exhibits

The Searchable Museum's "Make Good the Promises" exhibit offers an exclusive online experience that delves into the Reconstruction era following the Civil War. This digital exhibit highlights the promises of freedom and equality made to African Americans and the challenges faced in fulfilling these promises. Journey through interactive content that covers significant historical events, personal stories, and the ongoing fight for justice and equality. This online resource provides a profound and educational exploration of the Reconstruction era, emphasizing the importance and contributions of African Americans in shaping the nation's history.

#4: Support Black-Owned Businesses in Nashville

Explore and support Black-owned businesses on Juneteenth in Nashville- and all year round! From restaurants and cafes to art galleries and creative studios, each purchase you make matters. Use your purchase decisions to help foster economic growth within the Black community, preserve culture, and promote Black history education.

Slim & Husky’s

Supporting Black-owned businesses is a tangible way to uplift the community and promote economic equality. One of our favorite spots is Slim & Husky's, a local pizzeria known for its delicious offerings and vibrant atmosphere. Slim & Husky's not only serves mouth-watering pizzas but also actively engages in community building and social justice initiatives.


East Nashville Cream & Bean

East Nashville Cream & Bean is a new café that combines the pleasures of artisan ice cream and specialty coffee. Chelle Waller, a 2006 graduate of Thistle Farms' residential program, dedicated several years to serving as a senior case manager within the organization. In 2023, she embraced an exciting new venture by opening her own ice cream shop, "Cream & Bean," in East Nashville. This cozy spot is perfect for indulging in delightful treats while supporting a local business dedicated to quality and community.


Oh Happy Dani

Oh Happy Dani is the creative platform of Nashville native Danielle Coke Balfour, an acclaimed artist whose work is featured by major brands such as Target, NBC, Forbes, Glamour, and BuzzFeed. Danielle uses her art to promote social justice, mental health, and positive change. Her Freedom School is a monthly digital subscription that provides high-quality, printable resources designed to teach, preserve, and celebrate Black history through illustrated guides, art prints, hands-on activities, and more. This Juneteenth, commit to lifelong learning by subscribing to her Freedom School and gain access to these invaluable resources.


Woodcuts Gallery & Framing

Woodcuts Gallery & Framing, located in the heart of Nashville, is a hub for African American art and culture. This Black-owned gallery showcases a diverse array of artwork from local and national Black artists, offering a rich tapestry of perspectives and stories. In addition to their gallery services, they provide expert custom framing, helping you preserve and display your cherished artworks beautifully. By visiting Woodcuts Gallery & Framing, you immerse yourself in the artistic expressions that capture the essence of the Black experience.


Chelle Waller's Journey: From Thistle Farms Graduate to Business Owner

"I have been running and running my whole life,"reflects Chelle Waller, whose journey from surviving to thriving led her to become an entrepreneur. As a 2006 graduate of Thistle Farms' residential program, she spent 12 years as an admin and Senior Case Manager, honing her skills. In 2023, Chelle opened the East Nashville Cream & Bean Ice Cream Coffee Shoppe. "This strengthened my business skills and it all just came together for me." Her story shows how community support and the right resources can help women achieve their dreams. Thistle Farms' residential program provided her with those essential tools for lasting change and success. Chelle Waller’s message to anyone pursuing their dreams or overcoming challenges is simple: "Don't give up." Her story is a sweet reminder that love is the most powerful force for change in the world.

Join the Movement

As we reflect on the significance of Juneteenth in Nashville and around the nation, let’s take action to support and uplift the Black community. Whether through education, celebration, or economic support, each of us has a role to play in fostering a more just and equitable society.

Together, we can create a world where every voice is heard, cherished, and uplifted. Share your favorite Black-owned businesses and ways to honor Juneteenth in the comments below.

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