Celebrating Juneteenth: Honoring Heritage and Artistry


June 19th, Juneteenth, marks the day when the last enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their freedom, over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. Celebrating Juneteenth is an opportunity to honor the work that still needs to be done while paying tribute to the fundamental role that African Americans played in building our culture and nation.

As a Black minority-owned business, it’s important to us at Elemental to shed light on other powerful Black voices. We view Juneteenth as a poignant opportunity to do so. We are proud to highlight our guest artist, Nandi Fernandez, who created a stunning custom piece inspired by this holiday for our drinkware. Her piece of art tells a unique story, blending traditional themes with contemporary expressions. 

We hope you will join us in honoring this holiday, highlighting potent African American voices and supporting equality and expression. 

Growing up, Nandi rarely saw illustrated characters that looked like her, especially in picture books. This experience inspired her to focus on creating illustrations that represent characters of color and marginalized groups in ethereal, vibrant, and magnificent ways. 

Nandi is passionate about sharing African history through her art and contributing to social change. She believes that owning our narrative is crucial for shaping the future we desire.  Her portfolio honors women of African descent, highlighting their daily battles against social injustices such as sexism, racism, and colorism. She hopes her illustrations bring joy to women of African descent, affirming their inner and outer beauty.

Piece Description by Nandi:  

“For this piece, I aimed to capture the dual essence of softness and strength in Black women. The diverse hairstyles and skin tones reflect our unique beauty and resilience.  Our crucial role during the Civil Rights Movement is symbolized by the birds in the background, a subtle homage to Paul McCartney's "Blackbird," especially the rendition in Cowboy Carter. The lyrics, "Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise,"  echo our journey from struggle to empowerment— We have learned to fly and are now soaring. The colors of the Juneteenth flag are prominently featured in the headscarf, representing freedom and heritage. The flowers celebrate the beauty of growth and blossoming.  Additionally, one of the earrings includes a special nod to Congo, bringing attention to the current crisis in the country and the resilience of the Congolese people. “


Elemental as a Minority Owned Business:

Thoughts from Seth Inyang - Elemental’s Co-Founder:Juneteenth, to me, represents the day when American society fully decided that enough was enough and that living in evil is not the way. It is a day of redemption for the American people and the beginning of a road to unity where people can be treated equally regardless of race. I celebrate Juneteenth by remembering the past but always looking toward the future, enjoying America, and honoring the freedoms others have not had by pushing further.”

 About Seth: Growing up in the heart of America gave me a unique perspective on life. Midwest hospitality taught me that it’s more than what we say, it’s what we do for others that matters. I believe that everyone wants to do the right thing, but too many people just sit around and talk about it. I developed an eye for design at an early age. During college, I started an apparel line with a friend. Then after college, I chose a more technical path as an engineer. 

Celebrating Juneteenth Through Art

Juneteenth isn't just a day to mark on the calendar; it's a vibrant celebration of freedom, culture, and the incredible contributions of African Americans. This year, we wanted to do more than just acknowledge the day – we wanted to bring it to life. By featuring stunning artwork from a talented African American artist on our drinkware, we're not only honoring creativity but also sharing powerful stories and rich heritage. Her art captures the essence of Juneteenth, celebrating resilience, beauty, and triumph. Through this unique piece, we hope to spark conversations, inspire pride, and spread the profound significance of Juneteenth far and wide.

Secure your limited edition Juneteenth water bottle today. Pre-order or purchase now because a significant portion of the proceeds will go directly to nurturing and celebrating Nandi's extraordinary talent. Your support not only sustains her artistic journey but also ensures her remarkable gifts continue to inspire and move us all.

Get yours here!


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