Observing Juneteenth

Created by collection development librarians

Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, is observed annually on June 19. It officially became a federal holiday in 2021, and many celebrations are taking place. Explore and celebrate Juneteenth with our curated booklist:

Children’s titles to celebrate Juneteenth:

Recounts the story of the first Juneteenth, when freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South, from the perspective of a joyful little girl.

The traditions and celebrations surrounding the Juneteenth holiday are highlighted for young readers.

Mazie learns the history of Juneteenth and its importance through a story about her grandfather.

The true story of Black activist Opal Lee and her vision of Juneteenth as a holiday that represents the nation’s creed of ‘freedom for all.’

Shares stories from Juneteenth celebrations, both past and present, and chronicles the history that led to the creation of this joyous day.

Adult titles to celebrate Juneteenth:

Ralph Ellison evokes the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech to tell a powerful tale of a prodigal son in the twentieth century.

What is the origin story of Juneteenth? What are the facts, and legends, around this important day in the nation’s history?

This intricately woven tapestry of American history, family chronicle, and memoir recounts the origins of Juneteenth and explores the legacies of the holiday.

The very first cookbook to celebrate Juneteenth, from cookbook author Nicole A. Taylor, who draws on her decade of experiences observing the holiday.