Books to Learn about Juneteenth
As we make our way through the month of June, we are honored to celebrate Juneteenth! If you are unfamiliar, Juneteenth is a yearly holiday that commemorates the day the last of the African American slaves were actively emancipated. This occurred in the state of Texas on June 19, 1865. It is also now one of our newest federally recognized holidays. We've curated a quick list of books sure to keep your little ones engaged at home and in the classroom, while teaching them the history and importance of Juneteenth.
Through captivating artwork and watercolors, the story of Juneteenth is told in All Different Now. This aims to give children a valuable insight into the lives that were finally emancipated. "All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation's history" (credit: The Lit. Bar)
A colorful, lyrical telling of messengers coming to deliver the news of liberty. Two whole years after the Emancipation Proclamation, word made its way to Texas to notify those who remained enslaved that they were finally free from bondage. Juneteenth also includes songs and an informative glossary.
Follow along as Mazie learns the history of freedom and celebrates the liberty that was achieved on June 19, 1865. Join Mazie as she reflects on the stories from the past and celebrates this monumental day in the present.
Who better to learn about Juneteenth from than Ms. Opal Lee herself, also known as the "Grandmother of Juneteenth". Opal Lee is a leader in activism and human rights, hailing from Texas. She has dedicated much of her energy and activism efforts towards fighting for Juneteenth to be federally recognized. Here, she has created an accessible story to teach young children the history of slavery and the holiday of Juneteenth.
As a bonus, be sure to pre-order Opal Lee, an upcoming picture book portraying the story of Opal Lee's life and her journey to spread advocacy for Juneteenth and have it thoroughly recognized and celebrated.
Take a trip to the public library and see if any of these wonderful reads are in circulation, and if not, ask your children's librarian to carry them so the knowledge and history of this pivotal day of freedom is shared by all! Then, stop into your local independent bookstore, or search for one online, and order a copy to keep at home while also supporting small businesses! Happy Juneteenth!!