On June 19, 1865 – two years after the Emancipation Proclamation – Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX to enforce the previously declared abolition of slavery.
In recognition of this landmark event, Juneteenth was first established as a state holiday in Texas in 1980 and celebrates slavery’s end in the United States. Juneteenth is now celebrated in most states, including North Carolina, and it “celebrates African American freedom and achievement, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.”
Here at the Stone Center Library, we encourage you to learn more about this holiday, the events surrounding emancipation, and African-American celebrations in general by recommending a few books to get you started:
- Juneteenth Texas: essays in African American folklore. Francis Edward Abernethy, senior editor; Carolyn Fiedler Satterwhite, assistant editor; coeditors, Patrick B. Mullen, Alan B. Govenar. 1996.
- African-American holidays, festivals, and celebrations: the history, customs, and symbols associated with both traditional and contemporary religious and secular events observed by Americans of African descent. By Kathlyn Gay; foreword by Jean Currie Church; introduction by Jessie Carney Smith. c2007.
- Festivals of freedom: memory and meaning in African American emancipation celebrations, 1808-1915. By Mitch Kachun. 2003.
- Juneteenth: a day to celebrate freedom from slavery. By Angela Leeperhttp. c2004. [Available at UNC’s Davis Library]
- The Emancipation Proclamation: a brief history with documents. By Michael Vorenberg. c2010.
- Final freedom : the Civil War, the abolition of slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment. By Michael Vorenberg. 2001.