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Books & Authors, History & Biography

Juneteenth

Juneteenth, a combination of the words June and Nineteenth, is a celebration of the day that nearly 250,000 enslaved persons in Texas received word of their liberation.

On June 19, 1865, Union troops, led by General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas and read General Orders No. 3. Until that moment, enslaved persons in Texas had not been aware of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which had been decreed over two and a half years previously. They were free! June 19 is still celebrated annually in many communities and has been referred to as Black Independence Day. 

The Springfield NAACP, in partnership with the Library, will host this year’s annual Juneteenth Celebration in the Midtown Carnegie Branch parking lot on June 20 from 1-4 p.m. The event, commemorating the end of slavery in the U.S. and spotlighting diversity in our own community, will include booths from various community organizations, storytelling and children’s book giveaways, crafts, educational and health resources, snacks, live music and more.

 Learn about the history and culture of Juneteenth:

 Civil War: The Final Years Told by Those Who Lived It, edited by Aaron Sheehan-Dean

This final installment of the highly acclaimed four-volume series traces events from March 1864 to June 1865. It provides an incomparable portrait of a nation at war with itself, while illuminating the military and political events that brought the Union to final victory, and slavery and secession to their ultimate destruction.

 

 The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure, by Steven Otfinoski

In You Choose format, explores the history of Juneteenth Day, including the Emancipation Proclamation, the post-Civil War South, and efforts to end racism

  

 

Enjoy historical fiction inspired by Juneteenth:

Juneteenth: A Novel, by Ralph Ellison

In Washington D.C., in the 1950's, Senator Sunraider is mortally wounded by an assassin's bullet. From his deathbead, he calls out for Hickman, an old black minister. Out of their conversation and memories born in silence, a story emerges.

 

 Come Juneteenth, by Ann Rinaldi

Fourteen-year-old Luli and her family face tragedy after failing to tell their slaves that President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation made them free.

 

 

 Or dig deeper with these research articles:

 

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