Juneteenth recognizes the day that slavery in the United States officially ended - June 19, 1865 - more than two years after it was legally abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation. On that day, Major General Gordon Granger announced in Galveston, Texas, that all enslaved people were now free.
To celebrate this important day, Yahoo partnered with artist Graph Atik to design a logo that highlights important aspects of Juneteenth. Read about the meaning and inspiration behind his work below. To learn more about Juneteenth, watch our special event, Juneteenth: Soul of America on June 18 at 3pm EST at yahoo.com/juneteenth.
Why is Juneteenth meaningful to you personally?
Personally for me, Juneteenth is a day of empowerment and freedom throughout the Black community. Juneteenth is a day when Black Americans were liberated and were finally moving towards the goal of being equal. It is a great day for us all to reflect, learn and grow in unity as people. It is also important to me because I believe it is a great day to support Black businesses, share Black people who inspire you, and educate yourself on Black history.
Where did you draw inspiration for this design?
My inspiration was to make sure to have the fist included. It is such a staple and icon of Black freedom and Black empowerment. For this one, I did not want to go towards the pain that was endured during this time but more of a celebration. The confetti and triangle shapes at the bottom represent a day to celebrate. The blue and red flag is the actual Juneteenth flag. The sun behind the fist is to represent that “We have risen to our freedom.” The stars and the birds represent unity and freedom which is what Juneteenth is all about.
How do you hope people react to this artwork?
I hope people will enjoy this piece, with the dynamic of significant details that represent Black Americans and Juneteenth.
Graph Atik is a creative visual artist primarily whose art is focused on Black culture, music and the sports world. Raised in North Babylon, NY, he is now based in Los Angeles, California. Graph uses sketch pads and digital software to let his work pop with unique colors and lettering. Graph has collaborated with many major brands such as NBA, Google, Nike, Complex and many professional athletes and influencers.