Image inspired by TFA The Collective | 2020 Black Corps Member Summit graphic by Kion Saunders.
Learn About Juneteenth
The holiday is marked with parades and floats, prayer and dancing, food, and family. In Texas, Juneteenth has been an official holiday since 1979. In 2021, it was made a federal holiday. By 2019, 48 states including the District of Columbia recognized Juneteenth. By 2020, only Texas had adopted the holiday as a paid holiday for state employees. As of 2021, more states declared Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees in Minnesota, Illinois, New York, Washington, and Virginia. The links below offer an entry point into the history of the holiday, and its extra resonance this year.
- What Is Juneteenth? –Delve into the history of the holiday with this article from Henry Louis Gates Jr.
- This Is Why Juneteenth Is Important for America – This video from the Root describes the birth of Juneteenth.
- Celebrating Juneteenth – In this video, the founding director of the National Museum of African American History & Culture, Smithsonian leads a tour through a Juneteenth exhibition.
- Black-ish Juneteenth Animated Short — This animated short created for ABC’s Black-ish is full of education and satire.
Juneteenth Teaching Resources
For schools that are still in session, the following resources are a helpful way for teachers to engage students in conversations and projects.
- Teaching Juneteenth – This page from Teaching Tolerance offers several frameworks for teaching the history of Juneteenth.
- The Meaning of Fourth of July to the Enslaved by Frederick Douglass — Read the full text of this powerful speech from Frederick Douglass, where he describes the 4th of July to the American slave as “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”
- Monologue by James Earl Jones — Or, have students listen to actor James Earl Jones read the speech during a performance of historian Howard Zinn’s acclaimed book, “Voices of a People’s History of the United States.”
- Juneteenth Classroom Guide - A classroom guide for the book Juneteenth Jamboree, that’s appropriate for students in grades K-5.
- Juneteenth Lesson plans - Lesson plans via My Fresh Plans.
- Juneteenth: Teaching Culture as Resistance, Grade Level 6-8 – Lesson plans and teaching strategies from Teaching Tolerance for grades six to eighth.
- Juneteenth Learning Plan, Grade Level 3-5 – Lesson plans and teaching strategies from Teaching Tolerance for grades three to five.
Books and Movies
Share these books and movies, which celebrate Black people and culture in the United States, with students.
- 10 Children’s Books Celebrating Juneteenth — From the Colours of Us, here are books about Juneteenth for kids ages five to 18.
- 10 Books to Celebrate Juneteenth No Matter Your Age - Black & Bookish shares a roundup of books for Juneteenth.
These recommended books are appropriate for teenager and adult readers:
- Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement - Angela Davis
- Black Wall Street: From Riot to Renaissance in Tulsa’s Historic Greenwood District – Hannibal B. Johnson
- Jubilee: The Emergence of African American Culture by Hannibal B. Johnson
- Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope – bell hooks
- How to Be an Antiracist - Ibram X. Kendi
- Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom – bell hooks
- Witness for Freedom: African American Voices on Race, Slavery, and Emancipation – C. Peter Ripley
- Juneteenth - Ralph Ellison
- White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism - Robin DiAngelo
Movies are also a valuable resource for learning Black history. Some recommendations are:
|13th||Devil in a Blue Dress||Many Rivers To Cross||The Black Panthers; Vanguard of the Revolution|
|42||Dreamgirls||Moonlight||The Central Park 5|
|A Long Walk Home (1990)||Eyes on the Prize||Mudbound||The Color Purple|
|A Raisin in the Sun||Fences||Murder on a Sunday Morning||The Five Heartbeats|
|A Time to Kill||Finding Fela!||Paris is Burning||The Hurricane|
|Ali||Fruitvale Station||Porgy & Bess||The Jackie Robinson Story|
|Amistad||Get On Up||Posse||The Josephine Story|
|Bamboozled||Ghosts of Mississippi||Purple Rain||The Loving Story|
|Barry||Glory||Ray||The Murder of Fred Hampton|
|Bessie||Half of A Yellow Sun||Red Tails||The Night Tulsa Burned|
|Black Panther||Hallelujah||Remember The Titans||The Princess and the Frog|
|Blood Diamonds||Harlem Nights||Rosewood||The Pursuit of Happyness|
|Bopha!||Hidden Figures||Rubble Kings||The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow|
|Boyz In the Hood||Hotel Rwanda||Sarafina!||The Tulsa Lynching of 1921: A Hidden Story|
|Cabin In The Sky||Introducing Dorothy Dandridge||Scottsboro: An American Tragedy||The Tuskegee Airmen|
|Carmen Jones||Just Cause||Selma||The Wiz|
|Celia||Just Mercy||Slavery and the Making of America||The Wronged Man|
|Claudine||Lady Sings The Blues||Southside with Me||Time: The Kalief Browder Story|
|Cooley High||Lean on Me||Sparkle||Tupac: Resurrection|
|Crooklyn||Let the Fire Burn||Talk To Me||Two Trains Running|
|Cry Freedom||Mahogany||Tangerine||What Happened Miss Simone|
|Cry, The Beloved Country||Malcolm X||The African-Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis||When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts|
|Dead Presidents||Mama Africa||The Art of Rap||Within Our Gates|