Welcome to a beautiful Sunday across the region, with skies expected to remain clear and temperatures hovering in the upper 70s.

Let me start by wishing a Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, a perfect segue into the larger conversation around today’s Juneteenth holiday — and how to talk to your children about the significance. This week, I sat down with Frances Hoover and Danielle Smith, of Smith Playground, who offered some great tips on how to kick-start the conversation.

Also, in today’s newsletter:

🇺🇸 The latest on the Kensington building collapse and the firefighter who perished.

🏊🏽 Philly is opening 50 pools this summer. Did yours make the list?

🏈 Meet the Philly start-up looking to change the way you bet on live sports, in real time.

If you see this 🔒 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.

— Kerith Gabriel ( @sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

Juneteenth is for the children

As a Black father of really young and impressionable minds, I found myself stumbling on how to explain the importance of a holiday like Juneteenth – and why it’s more than just a day to barbecue.

So this year, I went searching for guidance and found it in Frances Hoover and Danielle Smith, who oversee operations, marketing and programming at Smith Playground and who weaved Juneteenth programming into their wildly popular Kidchella series of events. Both offered great tips and resources to have a conversation with a younger generation.

What’s the best way for a parent to introduce the conversation around Juneteenth?

Frances Hoover: I think that as adults, sometimes we underestimate what kids are capable of digesting and how they’re capable of understanding what we perceive as complex topics. Because at the base of a topic like Juneteenth, the idea of freedom, the idea of fairness are all things kids completely understand.

Why was it so important for Smith Playground to weave Juneteenth programming into its annual Kidchella event?

Frances Hoover: We naturally have a very diverse audience and bring together families from all over the city. So there’s lots of balance in socioeconomics, racial balance, and all of that, making it a really nice place to talk about diversity and equity. We’ve had our eye toward being able to speak to issues around diversity and equality and see this as an area where we can lend parents support in introducing these [types of] topics. So that’s always a backdrop as we’re planning our programming.

In your estimation, when is the right age to have a conversation about Juneteenth and the idea of slavery with a child?

Danielle Smith: I think preschool-age children are very capable of having these conversations. It’s interesting for children of color when [they become] adults [and] are asked about their first understanding about differences in race, people of color usually trace their memories back to like 4 and 5 years old. Kids notice things and the silence of not talking about them speaks more than actually having the conversation. So to the extent that we are avoiding these conversations, kids pick up on that just as much as or even more so than they would if we talked about it just in simple terms.

What are some resources out there that can help parents start a conversation?

Danielle Smith: There are a number of really good resources on the Smithsonian website, specifically as it pertains to the National Museum of African American History. They have a number of books that they recommend as does Harper Collins, which offers a number of books on the subject for kids and young adults.

Here’s hoping all that helps parents out there as it did me.

There’s much more as it pertains to Juneteenth on Inquirer.com, like:

What you should know today

❓Pop Quiz❓

In order to help you plan for the week, writers Lauren McCutcheon and Amber Burns do a pretty comprehensive rundown of events, happenings and other musings throughout Philly over the course of the week, every week. Of all of these Philly events, which ones are not happening this upcoming week? Take a guess and find the answer here.

a. Chinese Lantern Festival

b. Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll

c. Fishtown Festivale

And check out our Philly’s Best tool, a collection designed to assist as you navigate. ✨

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

This Philly-based chef has also spent considerable time on a mixed martial arts mat.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shout-out to a reader at random who answers correctly.

Photo of the Day

🎶 For today’s Sunday track, I’m sitting down with a cup of coffee and this fully remastered version of “Sidewinder” from Philly-born jazz great Lee Morgan playing in the background. It’s going to be a majestic 10 minutes and 36 seconds…🎶

👋🏽 A quick shout-out to my colleague Ashley Hoffman for allowing me to jump in on her normally scheduled programming and to you for taking some time this morning to read The Inquirer.