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Celebrate Juneteenth with the Long Branch Free Public Library


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19th, 1865 the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation which had become official January 1, 1863. Juneteenth marks the day when 250,000 enslaved Texans found out that they had been free for over two years and has become a symbolic date representing African American Freedom. Below are some free resources to learn more about Juneteenth from our online e-book collection.



Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi

Summary of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America from Goodreads:



Some Americans insist that we're living in a post-racial society. But racist thought is not just alive and well in America—it is more sophisticated and more insidious than ever. And as award-winning historian Ibram X. Kendi argues, racist ideas have a long and lingering history, one in which nearly every great American thinker is complicit. In this deeply researched and fast-moving narrative, Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. He uses the life stories of five major American intellectuals to drive this history: Puritan minister Cotton Mather, Thomas Jefferson, abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison, W.E.B. Du Bois, and legendary activist Angela Davis.

As Kendi shows, racist ideas did not arise from ignorance or hatred. They were created to justify and rationalize deeply entrenched discriminatory policies and the nation's racial inequities.

In shedding light on this history, Stamped from the Beginning offers us the tools we need to expose racist thinking. In the process, he gives us reason to hope.


You can find Stamped from the Beginning on ElibraryNJ and Hoopla



The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead


Summary of The Underground Railroad from Goodreads:


Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the terrors of the antebellum era, he weaves in the saga of our nation, from the brutal abduction of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is both the gripping tale of one woman's will to escape the horrors of bondage—and a powerful meditation on the history we all share.


You can find The Underground Railroad on ElibraryNJ



The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates



Summary of The Water Dancer from Goodreads:

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he's ever known.

So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia's proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North. Even as he's enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram's resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.

This is the dramatic story of an atrocity inflicted on generations of women, men, and children—the violent and capricious separation of families—and the war they waged to simply make lives with the people they loved. Written by one of today's most exciting thinkers and writers, The Water Dancer is a propulsive, transcendent work that restores the humanity of those from whom everything was stolen.


You can find The Water Dancer on ElibraryNJ



General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind "Juneteenth" by Robert C. Conner




Summary of Genral Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the man behind "Juneteenth" from Goodreads:


This is the first full-length biography of the Civil War general who saved the Union army from catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga, and went on to play major roles in the Chattanooga and Mobile campaigns. Immediately after the war, as commander of U.S. troops in Texas, his actions sparked the Juneteenth celebrations of slaverys end, which continue to this day.


Granger’s first battle was at Wilson’s Creek, Missouri, and he soon thereafter rose through the ranks—cavalry, then infantry—in early 1863 vying with Forrest and Van Dorn for control of central Tennessee. The artillery platform he erected at Franklin, dubbed Fort Granger, would soon overlook the death knell of the main Confederate army in the west.


Granger’s first fame, however, came at Chickamauga, when the Rebel Army of Tennessee came within a hair’s-breadth of destroying the Union Army of the Cumberland. Without orders—even defying them—Granger marched his Reserve Corps to the scene of the hottest action, where Thomas was just barely holding on with the rump of Rosecrans’ army. Bringing fresh ammunition and hurling his men against Longstreet’s oncoming legions, Granger provided just enough breathing space to prevent that Union defeat from becoming the worst open-field battle disgrace of the war.


Granger was then given command of a full infantry corps, but just proved too odd of a fellow to promote further. At Chattanooga he got on the nerves of U.S. Grant for going off to shoot cannons instead of commanding his troops (he’d actually indulged this impulse also at Chickamauga) and Sherman had no use for him either. So he went down to join Farragut in the conquest of Mobile, Alabama, leading land operations against the Confederate forts.


This long-overdue biography sheds fascinating new light on a colorful commander who fought through the war in the West from its first major battles to its last, and even left his impact on the Reconstruction beyond.


You can find General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind "Juneteenth" on Hoopla




The Warmth of Other Suns; The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson



Summary of The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson from Goodreads:


From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.


With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an "unrecognized immigration" within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.


You can find The Warmth of Other Suns on ElibraryNJ












We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta- Nehisi Coates



Summary of We Were Eight Years in Power from Goodreads:


We were eight years in power" was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America's "first white president." But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation's old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.


You can find We were Eight Years in Power on ElibraryNJ






Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Drew Nelson



Summary of Juneteenth from Goodreads:


June 19th, 1865, began as another hot day in Texas. African American slaves worked in fields, in barns, and in the homes of the white people who owned them. Then a message arrived. Freedom! Slavery had ended! The Civil War had actually ended in April. It took two months for word to reach Texas. Still the joy of that amazing day has never been forgotten. Every year, people all over the United States come together on June 19th to celebrate the end of slavery. Join in the celebration of Juneteenth, a day to remember and honor freedom for all people.


You can find Juneteenth on Hoopla








Celebrating Holidays Juneteenth

Summary of Celebrating Holidays Juneteenth


On June 19, 1865 – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation – Galveston, Texas became the last place in the country to learn the slaves were free. Today, Juneteenth is a joyful occasion with parades, speeches, music, and more! This engaging book teaches the fascinating origins and traditions of Juneteenth, honoring the freedom of African Americans.


You can find Celebrating Holidays Juneteenth on Hoopla






Let's Celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth by Barbara Derubertis


Summary of Let's Celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth 


In the 1800s, abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth fought for freedom from slavery for all African Americans. They fought with speeches, songs, newspapers, and even with daring rescue missions! Every year on both Emancipation Day and Juneteenth we honor and continue their fight for freedom and equality. Holidays & Heroes brings to life the people whose holidays we celebrate throughout the year. Enriched with colorful historical images, books in this series will engage children in the stories behind our holidays and the people they honor.

You can find Let's Celebrate Emancipation Day & Juneteenth on Hoopla




Freedom Over Me; Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan


Summary of Freedom Over Me; Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life from Goodreads:


Using original slave auction and plantation estate documents, Ashley Bryan offers a moving and powerful picture book that contrasts the monetary value of a slave with the priceless value of life experiences and dreams that a slave owner could never take away.

Imagine being looked up and down and being valued as less than chair. Less than an ox. Less than a dress. Maybe about the same as...a lantern.


You, an object. An object to sell.


In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN'T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his "workers", Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person's life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you've seen.


You can find Freedom Over Me; Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life on ElibraryNJ



The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander & Kadir Nelson


Summary of The Undefeated from Goodreads:


Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.


You can find The Undefeated on ElibraryNJ



Little Leaders; Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison


 Summary of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black HIstory from Goodreads:


Featuring 18 trailblazing black women in American history, Dream Big, Little One is the irresistible board book adaptation of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History.

Among these women, you'll find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. 

The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.


You can find on Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History ElibraryNJ




Little Legends; Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison


Summary of Little Legends; Exceptional Men in Black History from Goodreads:


An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists. The exceptional men featured include writer James Baldwin, artist Aaron Douglas, filmmaker Oscar Devereaux Micheaux, lawman Bass Reeves, civil rights leader John Lewis, dancer Alvin Ailey, and musician Prince.


You can find Little Legends; Exceptional Men in Black History on ElibraryNJ


References:


The Schomburg Center's Black Liberation Reading List


History of Juneteenth 


Historical Legacy of Juneteenth



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