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Celebrating Juneteenth

Commemorating the End of Slavery in the United States


Juneteenth

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th each year, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. This significant day marks June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation finally reached Texas, the last Confederate state, two-and-a-half years after it became law. In 2021, President Biden signed a bill making June 19th a federal holiday, officially recognizing this date as the end of slavery in the United States.


Now that Juneteenth is widely celebrated across the nation, it's important to discuss its significance in our school communities.


FAQs About Juneteenth


Did slavery really end on Juneteenth?

While Juneteenth marks a major milestone as the end of slavery on paper and in theory, the actual end of slavery required the spread of the Emancipation Proclamation, the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment, and the enforcement of these new laws, which did not happen all at once across the U.S.


Is Juneteenth known by any other names?

Yes, Juneteenth is also called Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, or Jubilee Day.


How can I honor Juneteenth in my school district?


Where can I learn more about the historical meaning of Juneteenth and the Black experience?


There are several resources providing excellent information:


Juneteenth I Blackademics - Jordan & Mia Smith

Freedom on Juneteenth” - Karamu House, the oldest Black theater company in the U.S., created this amazing theatrical production film

How to Talk to Kids About Race - Jeremy Tisby from The Atlantic on YouTube

Juneteenth Is Important” - The Root on TEDEd

Juneteenth” episode of black-ish


Videos geared towards kids include:

Juneteenth” by PBS Kids

The Meaning Behind Juneteenth” by Global News


Great children’s books about Juneteenth include:

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson

Eboni’s Juneteenth Celebration by Debbie Norton & Tiye Samone

Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle

The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story by Glenda Armand & Cory Barksdale

Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth by Alice Faye Duncan


Books about Juneteenth & the black experience for middle school students include:

Addy: An American Girl by Connie Rose Porter

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson

Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly: The Diary of Patsy, a Freed Girl by Joyce Hansen

Juneteenth: Freedom Day by Murial Miller Branch


Books great for high school students to explore racism & the Black experience include:

145th Street: Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America Edited by Ibi Zoboi

Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dear Martin by Nic StoneThe Fierce 44: Black Americans Who Shook Up the World by Robert Ball

The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk about Their Personal Experiences of Slavery & Emancipation by Ira Berlin (ed), Marc Favreau (ed), & Steven F. Miller (ed)

Death Struggles of Slaves in Their Efforts for Freedom by William Still

We Are Not Yet Equal: Understanding the Racial Divide by Carol Anderson


By actively honoring Juneteenth and educating our students about this pivotal moment in history, we can ensure its significance is understood and appreciated for generations to come.

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