Juneteeth is a holiday that takes place on June 19th every year to commemorate June 19, 1865, when federal orders declared in Galveston, Texas stated that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free. This momentous occasion fell two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered and ended the Civil War and two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. This was an important day in history and the fight to end American slavery.
This holiday should undoubtedly be taught about in our classrooms and is honored across the country with jubilant celebrations and the heartfelt retelling of Black stories. As we know, sharing stories about diverse individuals and experiences supports momentum towards a more tolerant and equal world.
Juneteenth is therefore a wonderful time to celebrate progress and share the experiences of those who fought—literally and figuratively—to seek true freedom for future generations.
Below, you will find some picture books for children that shed some light on Juneteenth:
Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure by Steven Otfinoski
Sophie and Lelah Celebrate Juneteenth by L. Monique Gonzalez
Juneteenth: My Own Holidays by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson
At Housman Institute, we believe our role is to nurture the social, emotional, and cognitive well-being of all students and educators without bias. It is critical that every child feel recognized and validated from their earliest days—to understand that their voice matters, regardless of background or experience and is being heard. We listen to, respect and support the needs of our educators as we recognize their critical role in a child's emotional growth and development. Together we need to begin the important work to help all our children and educators, as we move toward a more equitable environment for early learning, setting the stage for the building blocks of empathy and conflict resolution, and a more equitable future for us all. To learn more about how our program works to address equity in early childhood school communities... visit here.