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Celebrate Juneteenth 2022

Known also as African American Independence Day, Jubilee Day, or Freedom Day, Juneteenth is a celebration of the emancipation of enslaved Black people in America. Explore ways to commemorate June 19 in the classroom with lesson plans, books, and more resources.   
Celebrate Juneteeth

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. 

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. 

Books and Movies 

Share these books and movies, which celebrate Black people and culture in the United States, with students. 

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

A Juneteenth Message from TFA Black Staffers

Watch a heartfelt message from Teach For America's Black staff expressing what they need in this time. Video coordinated and edited by Garrett Bantom, J.Dionne Johnson, and Akande Simons.