Juneteenth, is the oldest known celebration of the abolition of slavery in the United States as well as the oldest known African American holiday observance. The holiday commemorates June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers landed in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free. Jubilant celebrations ensued which eventually evolved into a general celebration of freedom.
The celebration of Juneteenth is generally marked by family gatherings, picnics, prayers and speakers, and is a time for education and encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures. Juneteenth continues to enjoy growing interest, recognition, and celebration among organizations and communities throughout the country. These Juneteenth festivities reflect on and rejoice in the freedom, opportunity, and cultural respect associated with the holiday.
If you are looking for books to help explain Juneteenth to children / young adults, here are three recommendations.
1. Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper
2. All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson
3. Juneteenth: A Novel by Ralph Ellison
How are you Celebrating Juneteenth?