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Juneteenth Online Guide

Online guide for Juneteenth

Welcome to our Juneteenth Guide!

June 19 is Juneteenth, the holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law a bill making Juneteenth a national holidayThis guide provides a selection of books and videos about Juneteenth and the broader topics of emancipation and freedom.

Juneteenth: Background

Juneteenth is the celebration that observes June 19th,1865 as the enforced end of slavery in the United States. On that date, army troops entered the state of Texas to force the liberation of enslaved people. This was two months after the end of the Civil War, and two and a half years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had rhetorically and legally declared slavery to be abolished. Some have suggested that Juneteenth is similar to the Fourth of July as they are both Independence Days that celebrate freedom. However, enslaved Blacks were not freed on July 4th, 1776, despite the Declaration of Independence stating "all men are created equal" and that Liberty was one of three "inalienable rights." For this reason, Juneteenth has a special significance. Indeed, as writer Jameelah Rasheed states:

Juneteenth isn’t the "other" Independence Day, it is the Independence Day." 

Selected Juneteenth Resources

Here we have gathered a selection of books and ebooks about Juneteenth and Emancipation, as well as children's and young adult books. Use the tabs above to view these resources.

Grayscaled photograph of an African-American family in victorian clothing standing in a lawn

"Emancipation Day celebration - later known as Juneteenth and a public holiday in  Texas." Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Access:  Can't come to the library? You can still access print books (like some of those listed here) via the Library's delivery system. See our instructions on how to request delivery!