Tuesday, June 19, 2012




Today is a special day in the history of America. Juneteenth (the name comes from the combination of “June” and “nineteenth”) celebrates the abolition of slavery in the middle of the Civil War and is celebrated still throughout the United States. The time of emancipation wasn't easy for freed slaves. Many suffered from  disease, poverty, starvation and a lack of resources. However, it was still a very important day in the lives of the slaves and in the history of America.
I had never heard of this special day before until I read about it on the Scholastic web site...
Celebrations began for Juneteenth in Texas in 1865 and even though I am from Texas, as far south as you can get before hitting Mexico, I had never heard of it.  I think it's a wonderful day of commemoration!!!  It continues even today with the singing of African spirituals, public readings of the Emancipation Proclamation and family reunions, even street festivals. Check out these great books if you would like to learn more about African American history, particularly slavery and emancipation!
Unavailable for several years, Virginia Hamilton’s award-winning companion to The People Could Fly traces the history of slavery in America in the voices and stories of those who lived it. Leo and Diane Dillon’s brilliant black-and-white illustrations echo the stories’ subtlety and power, making this book as stunning to look at as it is to read.

“There is probably no better way to convey the meaning of the institution of slavery as it existed in the United States to young readers than by using, as a text to share and discuss, Many Thousand Gone.”

The New York Times Book Review

Frederick Douglass, The last Day of Slavery 

by William Miller and Cedric Lucas

Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad by Ellen Levine, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Escape North! The Story of Harriet Tubman by Monica Kulling, 
illustrated by Teresa Flavin
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
Beloved by Toni Morrison

1 comment:

AllisonK said...

I had no idea such a day existed. We might have to have a party tonight!


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