Back to top

Reads and Resources for Juneteenth

Juneteenth Celebration Of Freedom

June 18, 2021

Earlier this week, the President signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, declaring June 19 as a federal holiday in the United States. Often called Jubilee Day or Liberation Day, many Americans have long celebrated Juneteenth, which commemorates the emancipation of enslaved descendants of African people. In fact, many consider Juneteenth to be America’s second Independence Day and the oldest African American holiday.


The origin of Juneteenth stretches back to Galveston, Texas, in 1866. Although President Abraham Lincoln outlawed slavery through the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, news spread slowly to more isolated areas of the country, including parts of Texas, and many states refused to enforce the law until they were occupied by Union Troops. On June 19, 1865, the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and declared freedom from slavery. In 1866, the one-year anniversary of this declaration was commemorated by local residents, and since then, many celebrate each year on June 19. 


Juneteenth celebrations, now held across the country, range from festivities with food, music, and entertainment to political rallies and educational forums focused on continuing the fight for social justice and equality today. Many also read and listen to works by African American writers and musicians and explore African American heritage and culture. 


Here is a list compiled by MCPL staff of Juneteenth reads for all ages in the Library’s collection: Oh, Happy Day! Commemorating Juneteenth. The Library also offers many online resources that focus on African American history and culture, including:

 

  • Access Video on Demand – Stream videos and documentaries about Black Americans—from leaders of the Civil Rights Movement to women of color who are transforming politics.
  • African-American History Online – Covers more than 500 years of African American history, from the slave trade to the Civil Rights Movement to present day
  • African American Biographical Database – Biographies of activists, formerly enslaved people, artists, athletes, educators, lawyers, writers, scientists, and more
  • African-American Music Reference – Essays and images that cover blues, jazz, spirituals, Civil Rights songs, slave songs, gospel, and other forms of Black American musical expression
  • Black Thought and Culture – Nonfiction writings that presents what it is to be Black in America; includes the only full run of The Black Panther newspaper
  • Slavery and Anti-Slavery – Includes works on the transatlantic slave trade and the global abolition movement
  • Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490-2007 – Documents and collections from libraries and archives around the world
  • U.S. History – Browse topics to discover African American perspectives from pre-colonial times to the present.

-MCPL Marketing & Communications

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

View All Blogs

Read Similar Blogs:
Holidays

Resources You May Also Like

FreedomFlix

Learn history in a dynamic multimedia experience.
More Info

World Geography and Culture Online

Find printable maps and flags and compare country stats.
More Info

Events You May Also Like

Boneyard Jamboree

Sat, Oct 15 2022
10:30am - 11:30am
Registration Required
It's a fantastic Halloween spooktacular, featuring Pumpkin Man, the invisible couple, spooky scary skeletons, Martians, and ghosts in a cabaret show full of trick marionettes that are a sure treat.

Blogs You May Also Like

Did Dickens Invent Christmas?
Read More

Did Dickens Invent Christmas?

Recently, Mid-Continent Public Library hosted several programs centered on Charles Dickens’ and hi
Get in the Valentine’s Day Spirit! …or Not!
Read More

Get in the Valentine’s Day Spirit! …or Not!

This Sunday is Valentine’s Day!
Holiday Films for Thanksgiving
Read More

Holiday Films for Thanksgiving

Many celebrate Thanksgiving with friends, family, and of course, food!
Reads for Kwanzaa
Read More

Reads for Kwanzaa

December 26 is the first day of Kwanzaa, a weeklong holiday that pays tribute to African heritage and culture.

Was this page helpful? Yes No