Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. Juneteenth marks our country’s second independence day. Although it has long celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to many white Americans.
(Photos: Emancipation Day celebration, June 19, 1900 held in “East Woods” on East 24th Street in Austin.
Credit: Austin History Center via NMAAHC)
Libraries carry a wealth of information in a variety of formats about Juneteenth and its history. Below is just a sample of items available on the subject digitally and physically in our collection to help you education yourself on the day now recognized as a national holiday. With this progress thanks to the work of many Black Texan activists, we can also know that we have yet to see many tangible steps toward decreasing the anti-black and white supremacist laws, procedures, education, and attitudes that would make this national holiday more meaningful. Here are some links:
- Emancipation Road
- PBS – Slavery by Another Name
- PBS – Slavery & the Making of America
- The Great Courses – America’s Long Struggle Against Slavery
- Ralph Ellison’s Legacy (Why he never finished the book Juneteenth)
- The Spirituals
- I am Not Your Negro (also available as DVD)
- Whose Streets (also available on DVD)
- Miss Juneteenth (also available on DVD)
- Just Mercy (also available on DVD)
- Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America
- When They See Us
- American Son
- Left Out
- High on the Hog
Digital Book Lists:
Cookbooks in our Collection (and a little more)
There are many other documentaries, movies and TV shows available on various platforms that may interest you. Here are just a few that link to their trailers that stand out:
For readers who are more interested in learning about Black History, Excellence, and Joy via just physical books, check out the additional book lists on the library topic page: Racial & Social Equity. However, when the library doesn’t have the book you’re looking for (which happens and we love hearing about it), send us the suggestion using our online form.