On June 19, 1865, the slaves in Galveston, Texas received news from the Union Army: the Civil War was over, and, most importantly, they were free. The “Emancipation Proclamation,” had been issued on January 1, 1863. There are various reasons given as to why the news reached the Galveston slaves two and a half years late. However, the events on June 19th—and the subsequent celebrations—grew into a holiday that commemorates the end of chattel slavery in the United States—Juneteenth. Although Juneteenth is not a national holiday, many states have made it an official observance, recognizing it as a significant part of American history. Celebrations remember our ancestors’ hardships and hopes while continuing to fight against injustice and freedom from all forms of slavery here and abroad.
June 19th also holds a special place in the history of Black Children’s Books and Authors. It was on that date in 2015 when we launched our website. To celebrate the two-year anniversary of our website, we are giving away two copies of All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Details about the giveaway will be posted soon.
The six titles listed include fiction and nonfiction. Happy Juneteenth! Our stories matter.