Juneteenth, a national holiday recognized this Monday, June 19, 2023, celebrates the end of slavery for African American people in the United States. The specific date commemorates the fact that on June 19, 1865, General Granger notified people in Galveston, Texas that all slaves had been liberated. In his words, quoted on the Texas Talking Books Blog, “’The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.’” In subsequent years, celebrations of freedom for African Americans occurred and now take place across the nation and around the world. In recognition of the holiday, and the role of their state in its origin, the Texas Talking Books Blog of the State Library and Archives Commission provides a list of books, both fiction and nonfiction, for all ages about Juneteenth and its significance. For the list, and more information, read the blog on June 19: Juneteenth. Additional information on the commemoration is available on the website for JUNETEENTH.COM.
Personal Reflections from a Woman Living with Blindness
A blog featured on the Access to Vote website elaborates on the intent and impact of this commemoration of freedom on those with disabilities. In “Reflections on Juneteenth,” Marilyn Baldwin shares her experience as a black woman who is “living with blindness and other health challenges.” Baldwin states how different her life would have been if slavery had not been abolished, noting that she has a “wonderful life” thanks to the abolition of slavery and the progress achieved through the Civil Rights movement. After attending an HBC (Historically Black College), Baldwin worked as an educator and in government and as a volunteer with many advocacy organizations. However, she notes that “we must take time to remember and learn the truth about our history so that the past is not repeated.” Read the complete blog post here for more of her “Reflections on Juneteenth.”
A Virtual Juneteenth Event on June 19, 2023 with Film Director Charles Burnett
Charles Burnett, Oscar-winning director of “To Sleep With Anger,” “Killer of Sheep,” and “Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property,” will speak with Professor Steven Cleveland from California State University, East Bay during this virtual, free program on June 19, 2023 from 7 to 8 pm ET. To reserve a spot for the event, sponsored by A King in Paradise, visit the Eventbrite listing for this “Conversation with Charles Burnett.”