Celebrate Juneteenth!

     Today is Juneteenth! On this day in 1865, the last enslaved people in the United States were set free. Although Abraham Lincoln issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and although the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified on January 31, 1865, not all slaves were freed immediately. Word traveled slowly to Texas, and it wasn't until General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston that the Emancipation Proclamation was enforced in the state. People began to celebrate immediately, and even though the holiday has gone through periods of declining popularity in the past, more and more communities are choosing to observe it now. Galveston, Texas celebrates with banquets, picnics, prayer services, parades, and numerous educational activities. More locally, the Ann Arbor branch of the NAACP hosts a yearly Juneteenth Celebration as well. 

     If you and your family would like to celebrate by learning more about the holiday, check out these books at the library:

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom in the story of Juneteenth.

Juneteenth by Denise Jordan

Explains the origins and meaning of Juneteenth Day, a holiday that celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S., and looks at how and where Juneteenth is observed.

In 1865, members of a family start their day as slaves, working in a Texas cotton field, and end it celebrating their freedom on what came to be known as Juneteenth.