Juneteenth Menu, Food, History, Facts, & Black Folks Recipes

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As soon as I published this post, the President signed a bill recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday.

But what I found even more inspiring is Color Of Change’s call to action to keep our eyes on the prize in honor of Juneteenth.

A call to action for when we’re with our family and friends this year celebrating Juneteenth. Initiating discussions and movement around justice reform, voting rights and equal rights for Black people.


What is Juneteenth food?

Juneteenth comes with so much anticipation this year after Netflix’s top-rated docu-series, High On The Hog, introduced us to Juneteenth food, facts and history from the gatekeepers themselves protecting the legacies of African-American communities.


Black History Month Food Facts & Best Soul Food Recipes

The best Black History Month soul food recipes & Black history food facts. What's the difference? Southern food, soul food & Black folks food
Check out this recipe!
Black History Month Food Facts And 47 Best Soul Food Recipes


Black folks food

The series engages Black folks around an open fire pit, slowly watching and nurturing the homegrown vegetables and meat used in the stew.

With their hand on the sacred urn of tradition, these are the ones vowing to protect and preserve Black culture and generations of blessed soul food recipes.


Easy Gumbo Recipe
Nothing's more Louisiana than gumbo! A classic Southern dish and culinary staple in The Big Easy.
This easy gumbo recipe is Cajun cooking combined with Creole seasoning & spicy flavors - served over rice and pressure cooker ready in only 15 minutes!
Check out this recipe!
Easy Gumbo Recipe


Netflix High On The Hog Docuseries
Netflix High On The Hog – Stephen Satterfield and Dr. Jessica B. Harris (photo credit – Netflix)


Watch High On The Hog on Netflix –> HERE!


Books featured in High On The Hog


High On The Hog  |  Jubilee  |  Black Girl Baking  |


What is Juneteenth and why is it celebrated?

Juneteenth is the African-American celebration of the emancipation of slaves.


Why is it called Juneteenth?

As we know, justice is often delayed for the Black community. 

It’s wasn’t until years after freedom was granted that freed slaves learned of their emancipation. This day is June 19th, 1865. Also known as Juneteenth. 


Juneteenth is African-American Independence Day – Black folks 4th Of July

The Netflix series High On The Hog does a marvelous job of unraveling the complicated story of Juneteenth and freedom delayed. 

The docu-series retraces Juneteenth starting in Galveston, TX. 


When did slavery in Texas end and what was the last state to free slaves?

From the docu-series, I learned that Texas, the Lone Star state was one of the last states to abolish slavery.

Even worse, those enslaved did not learn of their freedom until- 2 ½ years after the Emancipation Proclamation was announced in 1863!


Galveston, Texas Moody National Bank
Moody National Bank Galveston, TX (photo credit – Business Wire)


My Juneteenth family story

I remember visiting Galveston and marveling at the financial institutions and establishments with the name Moody, like the area’s chain of banks – Moody National Bank. (Moody is my maiden name.)

I thought to myself that maybe I come from a wealthy lineage of Moodys in Texas.

But that kind of thinking was blissful and all wrong.

Without any genealogy records to tell me, my ancestors were likely Texas slaves, owned by families with the Moody surname.

As free people, my ancestors must’ve migrated southeast to North Carolina. In this state, my grandparents were born and raised.

Maybe I am a Moody descendant of Texas, but not in the fairytale story kind of way.

I’m likely a daughter of those enslaved who built Galveston for free.


“The limitations that are put on us by people’s framing of what Black hands can do is exhausting. But it doesn’t stop the work, and it doesn’t hinder my freedom because I have the ownership of knowledge.” —Chef Chris Williams, owner of Lucille’s


Netflix High ON The Hog - Juneteenth Inspired Food Black Girl Baking
Jerrelle Guy’s Raw Raspberry Hibiscus Cheesecake


What is the history of Juneteenth and Juneteenth food?

Netflix High On The Hog Episode 4- Freedom

High On The Hog uncovers the history of Juneteenth and how it’s celebrated through its culinary expressions. The soul food appeal and why each cultural dish is so special. 

In my creator’s opinion, they appropriately start with acclaimed food blogger and award-winning cookbook author Jerrelle Guy, author of Black Girl Baking. 

Jerelle explains the significance behind each dessert in her Juneteenth-inspired spread. From the colors to the history of each African-American-derived dish. And why each flavoring is an intricate part of the Juneteenth celebration.


Black Folks Southern Tea Cake Recipe
What are Black folks tea cakes?
An African American Southern dessert, Black folks tea cake is a sweet little biscuit. Light, airy, and sometimes compared to soda bread or pound cake. Tea cakes are a traditional African American treat that date's back to the 1600s.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Tea Cake Recipe


I was touched by how Jerrelle emotionally explained that she bakes for self-expression. 

Baking is how she breaks away from rules and creates her own empowerment. Her own freedom. A feeling she wants every Black woman to know. 

Jerrelle’s cooking style is described as super heart-centered.


“When you understand your history and understand where you come from, that understanding gives you purpose. And the purpose to carry on their story I think is such a huge honor.” —Jerrelle Guy


Netflix High On The Hog Juneteenth Food
Jerrelle Guy’s Juneteenth-inspired cakes


What food is served on Juneteenth and why is it important?

Juneteenth food and decorations in Galveston incorporate lots of red and bright colors because red is the color of Juneteenth.

The food is a collection and celebration of African-American soul food classic dishes.


Black Folks Southern Candied Yams
Candied yams are an old-fashioned African-American recipe. A sweet potato soul food side dish cooked to perfection in a cinnamon-brown sugar glaze.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Candied Yams


Black Girl Baking Juneteenth desserts

Raw raspberry hibiscus cheesecake 

Jerrelle infuses hibiscus for the bright color of the cake, along with the red raspberries on top. 

It’s a cake of various textures and temperatures. A mix of cashews and hibiscus and a hardened chocolate ganache drizzled over a chilled cheesecake.


Apple pie cooked with brown butter and almond flour

Jerrelle tells the story of how Black cooks in the South used to bake with almond flour because they didn’t have access to traditional flour. The result was a much more desired, moister, richer, and softer baked good!

Soul food as a whole comes from what was once someone else’s food scraps for trash that Black people cooked up with their heart and soul, making it treasure. 

This story is another classic example of African-Americans being resourceful out of necessity. Moreover, this ingenuity continuously evolves into cultural phenoms, like the culinary delicacy we know today as soul food


Soul Food Almond Flour Pie Crust
What’s the story of soul food and almond flour pie crust?
Almond flour has a Black folks' history and soul food legacy.
Black cooks in the South used to bake with almond flour because they didn't have access to traditional flour. The result was a moister, richer, and softer baked good!
Check out this recipe!
Soul Food Almond Flour Pie Crust


Almond flour today is more expensive than all-purpose flour and most other wheat flour! It’s important to note that this often occurs without credit to the original Black creators. 


Juneteenth Inspired Food - Southern Apple Pie With Almond Crust
Juneteenth-inspired southern apple pie with almond crust


“We’re the innovators of everything that’s beautiful and everything that’s pop culture right now that’s born out of this country that’s born out of us. And it’s taken, and it’s monetized and white-washed and sent out all over the globe. And still, it’s ours.” —Chef Chris Williams


Case in point with Jerrelle’s Juneteenth-significant ingredient almond flour. Today almond flour is priced 3-4 times higher than all-purpose flour and is sold in size two-thirds smaller than the all-purpose version! 

But as author Toni Tipton-Martin points out in her cookbook, Jubilee, African-American food isn’t just now being elevated. 

Our cooking has always been expansive since its inception centuries ago!

When we look back, our work has always been valued in the broader community. Tipton-Martin so eloquently points out that “our faces were put on packages as a symbol of quality.”


“When it comes to culture in America, there’s very little we didn’t influence.” —Stephen Satterfield, High On The Hog docu-series host


Netflix High On The Hog - What Are The Colors Of Juneteenth?
Jerrelle Guy’s 4-Layer Red Velvet Cake


What’s the significance of the color red in Juneteenth traditions?

“Red stands for the blood that was shed on the pathway to freedom,” Juneteenth TriState Expo spokesperson Leah McKay said. “Traditionally for Juneteenth most celebrations celebrate with red food.”


“Juneteenth was sparked by barbecue, watermelon, and red drinks.” —Adrian Miller, culinary historian and author of Black Smoke


So what does red velvet cake have to do with Juneteenth?

The color red recognize the bloodshed and honors the lives of our Black ancestors pre-emancipation. Those who never got the chance to taste the freedoms we savor today. 


4-layer red velvet cake

Jerrelle’s show-stopping cake was referred to around the table as the Juneteenth flag because of its beautiful red layers!

Jerrrelle used beets to achieve the red coloring and then spread each layer with maple cream cheese frosting.

There were many compliments to the chef for her complex mash-up of savory and sweet combining earthy beets with maple flavor!


Is There A Juneteenth Flag?


“Our legacy isn’t found in statues or history books. It lives on in the people who guard the gates of our culture.” —Stephen Satterfield


Is there a Juneteenth flag?

Yes, there is an official Juneteenth flag rich with symbolism.

“The design of the Juneteenth flag depicts a bursting new star on the horizon. The star represents a new freedom, a new people, a new star.”

What are the colors of Juneteenth?

The red, white, and blue colors communicate that enslaved African Americans and their descendants are all Americans.


Click to shop the Juneteenth decorations


“We nourished a nation through our cooking and baked our traditions in the cuisines that would define America.” —Stephen Satterfield


Juneteenth Inspired Food - Red Velvet Cake


How do you honor Juneteenth and what do people eat to celebrate?

Juneteenth food celebrates Black excellence

I’m sharing High On The Hog and Juneteenth-inspired food and recipes to help you create a menu with cultural relevance for your family and friends.

We honor Juneteenth by never forgetting the strength and resilience of Black people and Black excellence. And for this reason, we celebrate. 

We celebrate Juneteenth and our African-American history with our food.

In the words of  Toni Tipton-Martin “I am using my platform to draw attention to Black excellence.”



Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits Recipe
The secret ingredient to Black folks shrimp and grits is the Southern Creole sauce!
Typical to soul food and Black folks cooking, the seasonings make each recipe like none other. 
It's all about the spices and the special sauce.
Check out this recipe!
What Is Black Folks Southern Shrimp And Grits?


Juneteenth Food - Southern BBQ


“The entire passion that I have about this is to use food as a tool to elevate the conversation about what it means to be African-American and to cook African-American food… It’s a celebration. We’re celebrating our food!” —Toni Tipton-Martin


Instant Pot Southern Soul Food Low Country Shrimp Boil
African-Americans have been hosting gatherings with soul food low country shrimp boils for years. Often called a Southern shrimp boil Big Easy!
I love low country boils because they have all my favorite flavors – spicy sausage, tender shrimp, and sweet corn. 
Check out this recipe!
Instant Pot Shrimp Boil


What do Black folks eat to celebrate Juneteenth?

What Black folks food can you make for Juneteenth?

Below are a few of the best recipes for a Juneteenth celebration.

If you’ve seen the Netflix docu-series, you’ll recognize the featured Juneteenth food.

Remember to honor each recipe by sharing its soul food history.


Juneteenth menu – 14 best Black folks recipes

Steve Harvey Easy Homemade BBQ Sauce
Steve Harvey shares his easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe.
This Southern BBQ sauce is perfect for slathering your favorite meats for Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, or any other holiday!
You'll have enough leftover sauce to store in a mason jar and share!
Check out this recipe!

Steve Harvey homemade BBQ sauce for your beef brisket.


Black Folks Southern Potato Salad Recipe
Black folks Southern potato salad recipe is a must-have for any African American cookout, family reunion, picnic, or potluck! It’s a creamy yet tangy dressing balanced by soul food seasonings and flavors. AKA Black cookout potato salad! 
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Potato Salad Recipe


Black Folks Southern Soul Food Black Eyed Peas
Soul food Southern black eyed peas are intensely flavored in a thick sauce with smokey & spicy seasonings. Warm, comforting, & flavorful good luck you can eat for prosperity in the New Year!
Check out this recipe!
Soul Food Southern Black Eyed Peas


Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe
What is a soul food collard greens recipe?
A Black folks collard greens recipe is the quintessential dish of any Southern soul food dinner.
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Soul Food Collard Greens Recipe


Black Folks Soul Food Baked Macaroni And Cheese
Soul food baked mac and cheese is made with a rich & creamy homemade cheese sauce & yummy Southern spices. Southern comfort food the Black folks way!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Baked Mac And Cheese


Black Folks Instant Pot Smoked Turkey Legs
Thanksgiving doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Black folks Instant Pot turkey legs are an easy alternative to a whole turkey. A welcome addition to your Southern soul food Thanksgiving menu!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Instant Pot Smoked Turkey Legs


No Mayo Coleslaw Recipe
How do you make healthy coleslaw from scratch without mayo?
Easy, with the help of one of my favorite heart-centric ingredients - olive oil!
While there’s no keto, vegan or vegetarian need to swap lettuce for cabbage (more thoughts on that idea in this post), you can choose this low-fat coleslaw recipe with olive oil instead of mayonnaise in your slaw mix.
Check out this recipe!
Coleslaw Recipe For BBQ No Mayo | The Soul Food Pot Southern Recipes


Southern Soul Food Tomato Watermelon Salad
Add to the menu tangy and sweet tomato watermelon salad for your next outdoor BBQ party!
Summertime is all about the refreshing flavors of juicy watermelon and tangy tomatoes. 
This recipe for tomato watermelon salad with feta cheese, pickled onions, pickled peppers, and zesty cilantro is a classy Southern dish, perfect for any occasion!
Check out this recipe!
Tomato Watermelon Salad


Best Soul Food Valentine's Day Recipes | Southern Soul Food Red Velvet Cake
Red velvet cake is considered to be soul food of the South!
A Black folks' Southern red velvet cake is a made-from-scratch decadent red sponge cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. A cake that's just sweet enough to be irresistible for your Valentine's Day sweetie!
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake


Soul Food Apple Pie Recipe
What makes this apple pie a Black folks’ soul food specialty?
The flavor! This soul food apple pie recipe features fresh apples sweetened with brown sugar and spiced with a blend of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Seasoned to perfection, the apples are roasted and then baked in the pie to leave you reminiscing on the best Southern dinners!
Check out this recipe!
Soul Food Apple Pie Recipe


Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe
A Black folks’ sweet potato pie recipe is a delightful Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert packed with flavorful seasonings and spices in the tradition of Black folks’ soul food cooking. 
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Sweet Potato Pie Recipe


Black Folks Southern Banana Pudding
How to make banana pudding the Black way
You'll never be able to look at other banana pudding the same way once you've tried this soul food delicious delight - Southern banana pudding prepared the Black way!
Check out this recipe!
Black Southern Banana Pudding


Black Folks Southern Sweet Tea
Southern sweet tea is a delicious blend of refreshingly sweet and tangy flavors. (Mostly sweet flavors when it comes to making Black folks Southern sweet tea!)
But sweet ice tea is more than just a thirst-quenching beverage – it's a symbol of Southern hospitality and good company, and it's enjoyed throughout the deep South all year.
"All that sweet tea and cobbler!"
Check out this recipe!
Black Folks Southern Sweet Tea


Watermelon Dole Whip Float - The Soul Food Pot
Dole Whip is a best-kept secret in the fruit dessert world! Find it at Disney Parks. Dole Whip recipe - how to make this frozen treat at home!
Check out this recipe!


What do you think of these Juneteenth recipes?

If you like these recipes, then you’ll love these best Black folks cornbread dressing recipes HEREbest soul food cornbread recipe roundup HERE!


The Ultimate Soul Food Recipes Guide
What is soul food? Soul food recipes are African-American recipes full of flavor! A legacy of Southern cooking the Black way. Check out this collection of the best soul food recipes!
Check out this recipe!


This post was syndicated on Thrive Global on June 18, 2021 – This Juneteenth We Celebrate Black Excellence


Like this post? Pin the below image to your Pinterest “Soul Food Recipes” board!

Juneteenth Facts, Food, Decorations & Celebration Ideas


Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake

Juneteenth Menu, Food, History, Facts, & Black Folks Recipes | Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake

Red velvet cake is considered to be soul food of the South!
A Black folks' Southern red velvet cake is a made-from-scratch decadent red sponge cake with homemade cream cheese frosting. A cake that's just sweet enough to be irresistible!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Soul Food, Southern Food
Keyword: Black folks red velvet cake, Black folks red velvet cake recipe, Instant Pot cake, Instant Pot recipe, Juneteenth food, red velvet cake, soul food, soul food red velvet cake recipe, southern food, Southern red velvet cake
Servings: 12
Calories: 445kcal
Author: Shaunda Necole


  • Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot 7-inch Bundt pan (or a 9-10″ Bundt pan if not using Instant Pot)
  • Instant Pot baking sling
  • KitchenAid stand mixer or electric mixer
  • Aluminum foil (for Instant Pot)
  • Paper towel (for Instant Pot)


For the cake

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar granulated
  • teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3 eggs
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar white
  • 4 tablespoons food coloring red (liquid or gel)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips mini, semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • ¾ cup water (for the Instant Pot)

For the frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened or whipped cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter unsalted, softened
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Instructions for Southern Black folks red velvet cake

  • Grease a Bundt or cake pan and set it aside.
  • Starting with the wet ingredients, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk and vinegar, stir, and set aside.
  • In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, stirring well to blend, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugar until creamy for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable oil and mix again.
  • Add the eggs one by one, beating each one into the butter mixture.
  • Then add the mayonnaise and sour cream and electric mix again.
  • Add the red food coloring and mix gently with a rubber spatula to achieve a batter with an intensive red color.
  • Next, pour in the vinegar and buttermilk mixture into the red batter.
  • Gradually pour in the dry ingredients flour mixture that was set aside.
  • Then gently fold in the chocolate chips (optional) as you combine all the ingredients into the batter.
  • Mix gently with the rubber spatula until all ingredients are absorbed into the batter, and the mixture is uniform.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan.
  • Bake the red velvet cake at 350 degrees F for 25-35 minutes in a conventional oven or the Instant Pot Omni Plus oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.
  • * If you’re using an Instant Pot for this recipe, continue with all the instructions. If baking your cake- skip to instruction number 22 and then 24-27: Cover the top of the baking pan with a paper towel, and wrap it tightly with aluminum foil, keeping the foil and the paper loose, so there’s room for the cake to rise.
  • Open the Instant Pot lid and pour 3/4 cup of water into the stainless steel inner pot.
  • Place the Bundt pan into the Instant Pot baking sling and place the sling with the cake pan into the inner pot.
  • Close the Instant Pot lid (make sure the valve is up – in the position for sealing) and pressure cook on high for 50 minutes.
  • When the cooking time is finished, allow a natural pressure release for at least 20 minutes.
  • To open the Instant Pot lid, move the valve to ‘venting’ and manually release any remaining pressure, if applicable.
  • Use the baking sling handles to remove the Bundt pan from the Instant Pot.
  • Test the cake to see if it’s done by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, your cake is ready!
  • If it’s not ready, wrap the pan again with a paper towel and aluminum foil, cook for 10 more minutes, and then allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes.
  • Let the cake cool for at least 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  • Then, remove the cake from the pan and let it cool to room temperature before icing it.
  • This Southern Black folk’s red velvet cake recipe is usually served with icing (but it doesn’t have to be).
  • Serve and enjoy!

Instructions for the cream cheese frosting

  • Add the butter and cream cheese to a large mixing bowl.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer down to low and gradually add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract.
  • Once the ingredients are combined, turn the mixer up to medium and beat for another 2 minutes.
  • Spread the cream cheese frosting onto the cooled red velvet cake.
  • Optionally, garnish with chopped pecans, crushed pecans, or red velvet cake crumbs.
  • Pro tip: Refrigerating a cake with cream cheese frosting for a few hours will give it a firm texture, making slicing easy upon serving.
  • Slice, serve & enjoy!



Calories: 445kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 305mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 449IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 1mg
Save it so you can make it!Pin this recipe to remember it later.
Nutrition Facts
Juneteenth Menu, Food, History, Facts, & Black Folks Recipes | Black Folks Southern Red Velvet Cake
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



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