Juneteenth

JuneteenthCelebrated June 19th, Juneteenth commemorates America's second independence day: that of enslaved Black Americans.  It is not a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, but of the day on which news of Emancipation reached a group of Black Texans who were still enslaved two and a half years after it was first signed into law.  As Kevin Young put it in a 2021 opinion piece for the New York Times, "The lesson of Juneteenth is both of celebration and expectation, of freedom deferred but still sought and of the freedoms to come."

Since its inaugural celebration in 1866, Juneteenth (or Jubilee Day, as it was then called) has spread in scope and meaning, amassing a long history and a complicated legacy.  Initially celebrated in Black Texan communities, the holiday spread through the States with the Great Migration.  Juneteenth's initial celebration of emancipation became mingled with fights against newer forms of oppression.  And just last year, it was signed into law as a federal holiday.

Today, Juneteenth brims with hope, joy, and resilience, but also with grief, anger, and the reality that we are still far from racial justice.  While its institution as a federal holiday was met with some criticism, its growing prominence in American culture is a step towards prioritizing Black voices & histories — and deconstructing the myth of America as the "land of the free".

Explore some of our recommended reads below for incredible stories from Black American authors — or check our our Black History Month collection for nine different book lists, sorted by genre.


 

Staff Pick Badge
The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story By Nikole Hannah-Jones (Created by), The New York Times Magazine (Created by), Caitlin Roper (Editor), Ilena Silverman (Editor), Jake Silverstein (Editor) Cover Image
By Nikole Hannah-Jones (Created by), The New York Times Magazine (Created by), Caitlin Roper (Editor), Ilena Silverman (Editor), Jake Silverstein (Editor)
$38.00
ISBN: 9780593230572
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - November 16th, 2021

The 1619 Project: Born on the Water By Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593307359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - November 16th, 2021

An Abolitionist's Handbook: 12 Steps to Changing Yourself and the World By Patrisse Cullors Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250272973
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: St. Martin's Press - January 25th, 2022

African Founders: How Enslaved People Expanded American Ideals By David Hackett Fischer Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9781982145095
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - May 31st, 2022

Ain't Burned All the Bright By Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534439467
Availability: Backordered
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 11th, 2022

Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) By B. B. Alston Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780062975171
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 4th, 2022

America, Goddam: Violence, Black Women, and the Struggle for Justice By Treva B. Lindsey Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780520384491
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: University of California Press - April 5th, 2022

Black Buck By Mateo Askaripour Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358627982
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Mariner Books - January 18th, 2022

Black Cake: A Novel By Charmaine Wilkerson Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593358337
Availability: Backordered
Published: Ballantine Books - February 1st, 2022

The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History By David F. Walker, Marcus Kwame Anderson (Illustrator) Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781984857705
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Ten Speed Press - January 19th, 2021

Change Sings: A Children's Anthem By Amanda Gorman, Loren Long (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amanda Gorman, Loren Long (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593203224
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 21st, 2021

Don't Cry for Me By Daniel Black Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781335425737
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Hanover Square Press - February 1st, 2022

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev: A Novel By Dawnie Walton Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982140175
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: 37 Ink - March 22nd, 2022

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019 By Ibram X. Kendi, Keisha N. Blain Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780593449349
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - February 1st, 2022

Greenland: A Novel By David Santos Donaldson Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780063159556
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Amistad - June 7th, 2022

The Ground Breaking: The Tulsa Race Massacre and an American City's Search for Justice By Scott Ellsworth Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593182994
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton - May 17th, 2022

The Hate U Give: A Printz Honor Winner By Angie Thomas, Amandla Stenberg (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Angie Thomas, Amandla Stenberg (Foreword by)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780062498540
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 3rd, 2022

The History of Juneteenth: A History Book for New Readers By Arlisha Norwood Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781685394417
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Rockridge Press - May 24th, 2022

I'm So (Not) Over You By Kosoko Jackson Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593334447
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Berkley - February 22nd, 2022

The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States By Alliah L. Agostini, Sawyer Cloud (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alliah L. Agostini, Sawyer Cloud (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780760375143
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: becker&mayer! kids - May 3rd, 2022

The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer By Janelle Monáe Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780063070875
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Voyager - April 19th, 2022

Of Blood and Sweat: Black Lives and the Making of White Power and Wealth By Clyde W. Ford Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780063038516
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Published: Amistad - April 5th, 2022

On Juneteenth By Annette Gordon-Reed Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781631498831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - May 4th, 2021

Oona and the Shark By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kelly DiPucchio, Raissa Figueroa (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063071421
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 22nd, 2022

Staff Pick Badge
The Other Black Girl: A Novel By Zakiya Dalila Harris Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982160142
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - June 7th, 2022

The Personal Librarian By Marie Benedict, Victoria Christopher Murray Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593101544
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - June 7th, 2022

The Prophets By Robert Jones, Jr. Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593085691
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - February 8th, 2022

Recitatif: A Story By Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Toni Morrison, Zadie Smith (Introduction by)
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593315033
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - February 1st, 2022

Stuntboy, in the Meantime By Jason Reynolds, Raúl the Third (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jason Reynolds, Raúl the Third (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781534418165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - November 30th, 2021

Swim Team By Johnnie Christmas, Johnnie Christmas (Illustrator) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780063056763
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperAlley - May 17th, 2022

The Year We Learned to Fly By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399545535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - January 4th, 2022

Zyla & Kai By Kristina Forest Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593407240
Availability: Ships Today - Not Currently In-Store
Published: Kokila - June 7th, 2022