A cultural reckoning centuries in the making has placed Juneteenth in the national spotlight. The mainstream conversation surrounding the holiday might be new, but it has always been a staple of Black culture.
Honoring the day that the last of the slaves were freed on June 19, 1865, Juneteenth reminds us of the struggles and delays our people have always had to endure. It also gives us an opportunity to learn about the ways that they found what little joy and independence they could in bondage.
Interested in learning more about Juneteenth or teaching your little ones its legacy? Celebrate the occasion by picking up one of these nine reads.
Juneteenth Texas : Essays in African-American Folklore
Learn the origins of some of the cultural traditions and legends associated with this joyful occasion by exploring its Texan roots.
Juneteenth For Mazie
A routine bedtime story turns into a vibrant history lesson in this children’s book. It details the night before a young girl attends a family celebration that honors the victory of her ancestors.
Published on the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this book uses rarely seen images to illuminate what the road to freedom actually looked like.
The Brightest Day
A cluster of novellas illustrate the impact of Juneteenth on four different women, living in the Reconstruction era.
In the Matter of Nat Turner
Take a deeper look at the man whose faith inspired him to die for freedom.
Closer to Freedom: Enslaved Women & Everyday Resistance in the Plantation South
Familiarize yourself with the sly ways Black women fought against their captors, and remind yourself that this generation isn’t the first to resist.
We Were Eight Years In Power
Coates uses the touchpoint of reconstruction to offer sharp commentary on modern politics.
All Different Now
Wondering how to explain the holiday to your little one? This children’s book contains a glossary of terms associated with slavery that you can use as learning tools.
Juneteenth: A Novel
Get lost in the lyrical language of the long-awaited follow-up to Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man.