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:
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.
Funded by Minnesota's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.