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Resources to Celebrate Juneteenth

June 17, 2021 by Janessa Fletcher




I like to think I’m a progressive, someone who is cognizant of social justice issues today, someone who celebrates diversity. But I need to do better. I’m embarrassed to say that in my multiple decades of being alive, I only recently learned about Juneteenth, among a number of other historical events that occurred centered around marginalized populations. I grew up in and have been an unwitting participant in the whitewashing of history. 

In case you haven’t learned about Juneteenth yet or need a quick refresher…Juneteenth is celebrated on or around June 19th each year. It commemorates the day in 1865 when enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas were informed that they were free. Now, let’s not forget that Abraham Lincoln issued the emancipation proclamation more than two and a half years earlier and Robert E. Lee surrendered at  Appomattox over two months earlier (and there were enslaved people in Delaware until Dec 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment was ratified).

On June 19, 1865, the people of Galveston heard from Major General Gordon Granger, commander of the U.S. Army’s Department of Texas, “This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor.” Even with this announcement, some enslavers suppressed the information until after the harvest.

The hope on that day, the hope of ‘absolute equality,’ has yet to be realized – over 150 years later. While this fight has a long way to go, and while Juneteenth focuses on this fight against injustice, the focus shouldn’t be solely on enslavement. Children need to hear about #blackboyjoy and #blackgirlmagic just as much as the tragedies.

Juneteenth is celebrated in many communities with family gatherings, cookouts, parades, live music, and other community events. It is a time to elevate and appreciate black culture and reflect upon history.

These resources to celebrate Juneteenth will help you to educate yourself and others on Juneteenth in particular, as well as offer great examples of joy and celebration. We hope this will help you find #nomoreexcuses for not including it in your classrooms or at home.

Juneteenth Websites and Podcasts –

TPT Resources on Juneteenth –

Videos –

Children’s Books Specific to Juneteenth  –

 

 

 

Black Boy Joy and Black Girl Magic Books –

We have had a reckoning as a country in the past year. We have the opportunity to face our past and change our path or maintain the status quo. Most schools and teachers are ill-equipped to teach hard history. Will you make mistakes? Yes! Be gracious when someone corrects you and move on, doing better now that you know better. How can we allow another student to go through our education system without learning of these critical events from our past? Using this list of Resources to Celebrate Juneteenth is a great place to start. 

What is your experience with teaching hard history? Share your experiences and favorite resources with us below!

Written by – Kristin Halverson, NBCT

At Education to the Core, we exist to help our teachers build a stronger classroom as they connect with our community to find trusted, state-of-the-art resources designed by teachers for teachers. We aspire to be the world’s leading & most trusted community for educational resources for teachers. We improve the lives of every teacher and learner with the most comprehensive, reliable, and inclusive educational resources.

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