Juneteenth is said to be the oldest African American celebration of emancipation from slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, but news of emancipation moved slowly. For the next two and a half years, enslaved Africans and black abolitionists persevered in the struggle for freedom.

In Texas, formerly enslaved Africans celebrated their emancipation on June 19, 1865, and since then, Juneteenth has been remembered and celebrated as a holiday. From the late nineteenth century through today, typical Juneteenth celebrations across the country include parades, speeches by African American community leaders, singing of traditional songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and dancing.

In the spirit of Juneteenth, celebrate Blackness with the following books:


Online Juneteenth events

Juneteenth storytime online

Join us on Facebook Live on Friday, June 19 at 10 a.m. to experience “Juneteenth for Mazie” with librarian Yandia. For children of all ages and their caregivers. Enjoy stories and songs together in a format appropriate for young children.

A librarian will be online during this video premiere to share tips and respond to comments.

Juneteeth events

Commemorate this significant moment in African American history at an all-ages online community event, with powerful stories, performances, rhythms and songs. Juneteenth honors families reuniting, just as our ancestors took their freedom and reconnected with lost relatives, and bring us closer together.

Live on Hennepin County Library's Facebook page:

  • Sunday, June 14, 2-4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, June 16, 6-8 p.m.

Performers include:

Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.