Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. It is a celebration commemorating the day in 1865 when word of Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — which had been signed two and a half years prior — finally made its way to Texas. 

Funny thing about history - no matter how we teach it, no matter what we choose to highlight or ignore, no matter how we spin our nation’s story, the fact remains we can’t change the past, we can only learn from it. However, we often fail to understand the present because we refuse to tell the truth about our past. That’s why this year in particular, as our nation continues to struggle with racial injustice and deeply rooted prejudice, we must tell the truth about our past, ourselves, and our nation.

Toward that end, we offer a list of resources you can read or watch together as a family.

  • As Black Lives Matter protests continue around the country and Americans celebrate Juneteenth today, Aisha White, from the Office of Child Development at the University of Pittsburgh, talks about how to broach these subjects with kids.

  • Educators say the history of systemic racism in this country and the contributions of Black people have been erased.

  • children's book: juneteenth for mazie

    Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history — the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth. This beautiful eBook is available to Amazon Prime members for free with your membership! You can also watch a VIDEO of the book being read around on the media player below.

  • children's book: all different now

    Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms. Click on the link to purchase the eBook or watch the VIDEO of the book being read aloud on the media player below.

  • book for teens: the story of juneteenth

    The Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War have brought an official end to slavery, yet some Southern slave owners are refusing to comply. The road to freedom is still long and hard for many African Americans, but you’re not giving up. Will you: Overcome obstacles as you make your way north from Texas, looking to begin a new life of freedom? Seek out your family, from whom you were separated as a child, after emancipation? Fight back when you take work as an apprentice but find that you’re still treated as a slave? YOU CHOOSE offers multiple perspectives on history, supporting Common Core reading standards and providing readers a front-row seat to the past. This eBook is available to Amazon Prime members for free with your membership.

  • HBO and The Atlantic teamed up to create a digital comic focused on the massacre of Black Wall Street. The comic retells the story of the Tulsa Oklahoma neighborhood Greenwood, a prosperous collective of black-owned homes and businesses. In 1921, white rioters stormed Greenwood, killed over 300 residents, left more homeless and ransacked the neighborhood. CAUTION: Not for young children.