Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19. On this date in 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas got word that they were free. President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth Bill on June 18, 2021, designating June 19 as a federal holiday. Here are a few readings and teaching resources to help you commemorate Juneteenth in your classroom or community. Feel free to peruse the last two years’ Juneteenth posts as well: “Juneteenth Community Programs, Teaching Guides, & Anti-Racism Resources” (2021), and “Juneteenth, A Holiday Celebrating Black Freedom” (2020).
- Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper (picture book)
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson (picture book)
- Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford (picture book)
- Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, illustrated by Alex Bostic (picture book)
- The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States by Alliah L. Agostini, illustrated by Sawyer Cloud (picture book)
- On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed (adult)
- “The Juneteenth Reading List” – Penguin Random House (adult)
- “Reading Juneteenth: Celebrating Freedom Reading List” – Politics and Prose (adult)
We encourage you to educate yourself and the young people in your life about the history of this holiday. Please find a list of resources below:
- Teaching Juneteenth: This learning plan on the history of Juneteenth acknowledges hard history while also empowering students to be advocates for change – written by Coshandra Dillard for Learning for Justice.
- Focus on Equity for Juneteenth and Beyond: These resources can help unpack the complex history of this observance that originated in Texas—including the need for intervention from the federal government and efforts toward obscuring what actually took place.t – courtesy of Learning for Justice.
- What we can do now, reflections on Juneteenth: This newsletter features many great resources that you can use to inform yourself and to spark conversation with kids of all ages – courtesy of EmbraceRace.
- Black Emancipation and the Legacy of Juneteenth: Making Juneteenth official alone doesn’t do that. Without true and transformative action to protect the liberation of all people, celebrating can easily become a performative act of unity. What we desperately need is solidarity and action behind the observation. The date recognizes not the liberation of Black people, but the need to protect their right to freedom. We must act accordingly instead of waiting for someone else to do that work. – written by Nicole Cardoza for Anti-Racism Daily
Anti-Racism: A Daily Practice
The work of anti-racism and liberation is ongoing, and it is important to engage with this topic year-round. A fun and easy way to stay engaged is to join WITS’s bi-monthly book club. Study Hall is a collaborative learning space for adult learners to actively take part in anti-racist conversation and enjoy works by writers of color. We focus not just on anti-Racist discourse but also celebrate the range of genres and stories by BIPOC authors. On August 18th we will discuss Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong.
Happy Juneteenth from all of us at WITS!