As we welcome new calendar observances in our journey to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive co-op, we find it valuable to reach out to the growers and producers that find these observances close to their personal and professional lives. This year we are honored to carry two Juneteenth products from one of our Game Changer companies, Bright Black Candles.
This Durham-based, husband and wife team, has gained popularity with their line of rich candle scents that pay homage to the Black Diaspora. As they grow in business, they also connect with partner organizations that share in their mission of a community demanding equal justice for all.
Bright Black Candles owner, Tiffany Griffin, shares her relationship with Juneteenth below:
Why is Juneteenth important?
Juneteenth is a commemoration of the emancipation of African enslaved individuals in the United States. It’s not the day Emancipation occurred, or even the day the legislation was ratified. It’s the day a group of slaves, deep in Texas heard the news of Emancipation. That day was MONTHS after Emancipation had occurred, and is a symbol of freedom and a day of remembrance. The fact that the United States has no formal, federal holiday to commemorate the freeing of 4 million enslaved people in this country is a testament to the nation’s inability to wholeheartedly face its brutal past, and the implications, trauma, and pain associated with that past on social dynamics and racial disparities that persist today. Rather than wait for the majority of Americans to celebrate freedom for enslaved individuals, Black people took the power to celebrate and commemorate into their own hands, hence creating Juneteenth Day.
What does Juneteenth mean to you personally?
Personally, Juneteenth is the embodiment of resilience, empowerment and creativity. Black people are resilient, and consistently show the world how to “make a way out of no way.” Black people also embody ways to hold and honor joy, even in the midst of dire situations. Life didn’t magically change overnight after Emancipation, but there were still so many reasons to celebrate. Similarly today, if we look at health, wealth, income, education, incarceration, access to green space/infrastructure, life expectancy–and the list goes on–racial disparities persist. And yet despite these dynamics, Black people continue to live, laugh, and love hard. Black joy is real, our humanity and complexity is real.
Bright Black Candles special to Juneteenth:
The Limited Edition CFSY Candle: $25
The Limited Edition Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth (CFSY) Candle is a reminder that all people–especially children–deserve fairness, redemption, serenity, and freedom.
Inspired by the tenacity, potential, and resilience of people who have lived through extreme prison sentences as children, this scent design combines grapefruit, freshly-cut grass, and thyme to invoke the beauty of second chances and to spark much needed action within the juvenile justice system.
Each CFSY candle has a 70-80 hour burn time, and is handcrafted by Bright Black artisans using high-quality clean burning coconut and soy waxes, custom-blended fragrances, wooden wicks, and stunning, reusable black matte glass vessels. 40% of net online sales will be given to CFSY to support their work to ban life without parole and other extreme sentences for children, which disproportionately impacts Black youth.
For more information on CFSY, head to CFSY.org or @thecfsy.
The Limited Edition L’espoir Candle: $25
The Limited Edition L’espoir Candle is a scent declaration of hope. We want to inspire it. We want to spread it. Today, and every day, we want hope to go viral.
Born out of a deep friendship, L’espoir is a striking blend of eight floral notes, based on the lily of the valley–one of the most iconic and timeless symbols of hope and rebirth. The resulting fragrance is almost hypnotic, green and sweet, like a slow stroll past a Parisian flower stand in spring.
Each L’espoir candle is handcrafted by Bright Black artisans using high-quality, clean burning coconut and soy waxes, custom-blended fragrances, wooden wicks, and stunning, reusable black matte glass vessels. 10% of all L’espoir sales will be donated to the Nyumbani Children’s Home, a non-profit providing life-saving care and a loving home to more than 100 HIV-positive children in Kenya. 70-80 hours burn time.
Learn about the Juneteenth activities here.