Juneteenth has been an unofficial Independence Day since June 19, 1865, when a Union General was sent to Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation President Lincoln had signed 2½ years prior. Since President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law on June 17th, 2021, Juneteenth is now a federally recognized holiday. 

In honor of Juneteenth, we want to share some books you can read to better understand the story of slavery:
For Children

  • Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth by Tonya Abari
  • The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story by Glenda Armand

For Young Adults

  • All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto by George M. Johnson
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

For Adults

  • On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed
  • The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

We deeply believe the establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday is the right thing to do and it’s also important to remember that the creation of a national holiday does not excuse us from the work we need to do in our cities, states, communities, and the nation, to create a more equal life for Black Americans.

We all have work to do to right the wrongs in our society. Educating ourselves and our children is a great step forward.