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Juneteenth: Honoring the History of Emancipation and Reformation

“Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free.” —Juneteenth.com

Learn more about Juneteenth with these titles for children and adults.

Juneteenth

by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Nonfiction
June 19th, 1865, Texas. Enslaved African Americans worked in fields and homes of white slave owners until a message arrived announcing the end of slavery two months after the Civil War ended. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS
eBook: hoopla
Audiobook: hoopla

What is Juneteenth?

by Kristi Jewel

Nonfiction
On June 19, 1865, a group of enslaved men, women, and children in Texas gathered around a Union soldier and listened as he read the most remarkable words they would ever hear. They were no longer enslaved: they were free. They did not know it at the time, but their joyous celebration of freedom would become a holiday–Juneteenth.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era

by Douglas R. Egerton

Nonfiction
Previous histories of Reconstruction have focused on Washington politics. But in this sweeping, prodigiously researched narrative, Douglas Egerton brings a much bigger, even more dramatic story into view, exploring state and local politics and tracing the struggles of some fifteen hundred African-American officeholders, in both the North and South, who fought entrenched white resistance.

Book: BCCLS

Frederick Douglass: the Lion Who Wrote History

by Walter Dean Myers

Nonfiction
A picture book biography about the life of Frederick Douglass. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS

Barracoon: The Story of the Last Black Cargo

by Zora Neale Hurston

Nonfiction
Zora Neale Hurston interviewed the last surviving African to be kidnapped, shipped to the U.S. and enslaved, a few years before the start of the Civil War (long after such practices were illegal). Meticulously she records his story from his own point of view, from his boyhood in Africa up until Reconstruction.

Book: BCCLS
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires

by Shomari Wills

Nonfiction
Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Michael Jordan, and Will Smith are not the first blacks to reach the storied one percent. Between the years of 1830 and 1927, as the last generation of blacks born into slavery was reaching maturity, a small group of smart, tenacious, and daring men and women broke new ground to attain the highest levels of financial success.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: hoopla
Audiobook: hoopla

In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives

by Kenneth C. Davis

Nonfiction
Through the powerful stories of five enslaved people who were “owned” by four U.S. presidents, this book helps set the record straight about the role slavery played in the founding of America.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

Juneteenth: A Novel

by Ralph Ellison

Fiction
Shot on the Senate floor by a young Black man, a dying racist senator summons an elderly Black Baptist minister from Oklahoma to his side for a remarkable dialogue that reveals the deeply buried secrets of their shared past and the tragedy that reunites them.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Emancipation

by David Brion Davis

Nonfiction
From the revered historian, the long-awaited conclusion of the magisterial history of slavery and emancipation in Western culture that has been nearly fifty years in the making.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Juneteenth Jamboree

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Fiction
Cassandra and her family have moved to her parents’ hometown in Texas, but it doesn’t feel like home to Cassandra until she experiences Juneteenth. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Ellen’s Broom

by Kelly Starling Lyons

Fiction
Honoring a special broom for its representation of the slave heritage that forbade legal marriages, Ellen prepares for her parents’ registry at a Reconstruction-era courthouse and repeats a cultural wedding tradition. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS

Slavery’s Descendants: Shared Legacies of Race and Reconciliation

by Dionne Ford, Jill Strauss

Nonfiction
Slavery’s Descendants brings together twenty-five contributors from a variety of racial backgrounds, to tell their personal stories of exhuming and exorcising America’s racist past. Together, they help us confront the legacy of slavery and reclaim a more complete picture of U.S. history, one cousin at a time.

Book: BCCLS

Crossing Ebenezer Creek

by Tanya Bolden

Fiction
Freed from slavery, Mariah and her young brother Zeke join Sherman’s march, where Mariah meets Caleb and dares to imagine the possibility of true love, but hope can come at a cost.

Book: BCCLS

Black, Blue & Gray: African Americans in the Civil War

by Jim Haskins

Nonfiction
A historical account of the role of African-American soldiers in the Civil War. (chapter book)

Book: BCCLS

Hidden Black History: From Juneteenth to Redlining

by Amanda Jackson Green

Nonfiction
From Juneteenth to the Tulsa Race Massacre, many important moments in Black American history have not been taught or discussed. Discover these events and how they are remembered in the Black community today. (chapter book)

Book: BCCLS

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free

by Alice Faye Duncan

Nonfiction
Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth, but she soon discovered that most Americans had never heard of the holiday that represents the nation’s creed of “freedom for all.”

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African-American Voting Rights

by Lawrence Goldstone

Nonfiction
A thrilling and incisive examination of the post-Reconstruction era struggle for and suppression of African American voting rights in the United States.

Book: BCCLS
Audiobook: hoopla

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding Our Racial Divide

by Carol Anderson and Tonya Bolden

Nonfiction
From the end of the Civil War to the tumultuous issues in America today, an acclaimed historian reframes the conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Jefferson’s Sons

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Fiction
This story of Thomas Jefferson’s children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemings, tells a darker piece of America’s history from an often unseen perspective – that of three of Jefferson’s slaves – including two of his own children. As each child grows up and tells his story, the contradiction between slavery and freedom becomes starker, calling into question the real meaning of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Book: BCCLS

On Juneteenth

by Annette Gordon-Reed

Nonfiction
Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle and memoir, a Pulitzer-winning historian portrays the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the hardships of African-Americans since then.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Dream Country

by Shannon Gibney

Fiction
A tale spanning two centuries and two continents recounts the stories of five generations of young people caught in a spiral of death and exile between Liberia and the United States.

Book: BCCLS

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation

by Ira Berlin, Marc Favreau, and Steven Miller

Nonfiction
Early in the 1930s interviewers from the Federal Writers’ Project combed the American South in search of former slaves. The interviewers spoke with hundreds of elderly people about their experiences in slavery, and preserved the voices of some of them on primitive recording devices. The nearly-inaudible recordings were placed in the Library of Congress, unheard by the general public, but now, remastered with the aid of modern technology, they offer the only known opportunity to hear the voices of former slaves.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive, hoopla

Days of Jubilee: The End of Slavery in the United States

by Patricia C. and Fredrick L. McKissack

Nonfiction
Uses slave narratives, letters, diaries, military orders, and other documents to chronicle the various stages leading to the emancipation of slaves in the United States. (chapter book)

Book: BCCLS

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom

by Angela Johnson

Fiction
In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You

by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi

Nonfiction
A history of racist and antiracist ideas in America, from their roots in Europe until today, adapted from the National Book Award winner Stamped from the Beginning.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive
Audiobook: Libby/OverDrive

Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty

by Tonya Bolden

Nonfiction
A unique look at the events that led to the Emancipation Proclamation. Filled with little-known facts and fascinating details. (chapter book)

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

A Slave No More: Two Men Who Escaped to Freedom, Including Their Own Narratives of Emancipation

by David W. Blight

Nonfiction
Slave narratives, some of the most powerful records of our past, are extremely rare, with only fifty-five post-Civil War narratives surviving. A mere handful are first-person accounts by slaves who ran away and freed themselves. Now two newly uncovered narratives, and the biographies of the men who wrote them, join that exclusive group with the publication of A Slave No More, a major new addition to the canon of American history.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

Juneteenth for Mazie

by Floyd Cooper

Fiction
Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means in the story of Juneteenth, and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom. (picture book)

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive, hoopla

The Thin Light of Freedom: The Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America

by Edward L. Ayers

Nonfiction
North of the Mason-Dixon line, in the Pennsylvania portion of the valley, free black families sent husbands and sons to fight with the U.S. Colored Troops. In letters home, even as Lincoln commemorated the dead at Gettysburg, they spoke movingly of a war for emancipation. As defeat and the end of slavery descended on Virginia, with the political drama of Reconstruction unfolding in Washington, the crowded classrooms of the Freedmen’s Bureau schools spoke of a new society struggling to emerge.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive

A Matter of Souls

by Denise Lewis Patrick

Fiction
A series of vignettes reveal life in the Deep South for African Americans as they experience discrimination in a doctor’s office, lynching, and other forms of oppression, especially during the 1960s.

Book: BCCLS
eBook: Libby/OverDrive, hoopla

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