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