Juneteenth is an annual holiday commemorating the emancipation of African Americans who had been enslaved in the United States. Recognized each year on June 19, Juneteenth celebrates resilience, resistance, and liberation.
Compiled by PTM educators, what follows is a series of resources for adults and children about this important holiday.
Educational Resources for Adults
Understanding and Celebrating Juneteenth: The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers a guide that explains Juneteenth and offers suggested dialogue to engage children in conversations or activities relating to enslavement, freedom, hope and activism.
Learn About and Celebrate Juneteenth: PBS offers this resource to share some history of Juneteenth and relative programming that is intentional in highlighting the holiday.
What is Juneteenth? Dr. Henry Louis Gates gives a comprehensive history of Juneteenth as part of the series: The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross. Explore the timeline and the importance of the holiday from his perspective and findings.
How Juneteenth (and Other Celebrations) Can Be Meaningful For Your Family: This article offers ways to introduce Juneteenth for families that may be or are considering celebrating Juneteenth for the first time! Talking points about why and how holidays can be made special and fun are included throughout.
On Juneteenth: Combining personal anecdotes with poignant facts gleaned from the annals of American history, Gordon-Reed shows how, from the earliest presence of Black people in Texas to the day in Galveston on June 19, 1865 when Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in the state, African-Americans played an integral role in the Texas story.
Books and Resources for Children
Sometimes, it can be hard to know where or how to start a conversation. A book, TV show, or movie can serve as a great jumping off point to talk with young children about these topics.
- Things Kids Should Know About Juneteenth: Educational Children’s Book About The History of Juneteenth: This book is a captivating and informative guide to the history and significance of Juneteenth. It explains, in simple and age-appropriate language, the story of how people who were enslaved in the United States were finally told they were free on June 19th, 1865. The book describes the struggles and sacrifices of the people who fought for their freedom, and the ways in which Juneteenth is celebrated today.
- Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice: The story aims to answer children’s questions about traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives. Includes an extensive note to parents and caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.
- All Different Now: Juneteenth, The First Day of Freedom
- Juneteenth Jamboree
- Juneteenth for Mazie
- Love Twelve Miles Long
- Show Way
- Sojourner Truth’s Step-Stomp Stride
- Freedom in Congo Square
- A Sweet Smell of Roses
- Freedom, We Sing
- Our Children Can Soar
- Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America
- Mr. Crum’s Potato Predicament
- Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth (Board Book)
- The World Belonged to Us
- Jayylen’s Juneteenth Surprise
- Freedom Rings: A Children’s Book About Juneteenth
- I Am Every Good Thing
- Opal Lee And What it Means To Be Free
- Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom (Step Into Reading)
- Hooray! It’s Juneteenth Day!
Gracie’s Corner – Juneteenth Song: Gracie’s Corner, is a Black owned children’s series that empowers and educates children from diverse backgrounds. Based and founded in Texas, Gracie’s Corner’s Juneteenth song is a great way to have children celebrate the holiday also!
Sesame Street: Let’s Celebrate Juneteenth Song: Have your child sing and dance along with the familar and friendly characters on Sesame Street as they celebrate Juneteenth with music and movement!
Elijah Explains Race to His Son, Wes, and Elmo: Use this video to help create dialogue with your young learner surrounding race and differences within others along with the help of some familiar fuzzy friends.
Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk? TEDxStanford Talk by Beverly Daniel Tatum: Beverly Daniel Tatum describes a conversations with her preschool son,through which she came to realize that it is the things we don’t say and the matters we don’t discuss with our children that find their way into racist dialogue and thinking. This video can help parents frame conversations with their children to appropriately discuss race.
Blackish, Season 4, Episode 1 – “Juneteenth”: Dre (Anthony Anderson) sees a Columbus Day show at his son’s school and decides he wants to get rid of that holiday and replace it with Juneteenth.The episode discusses historical inaccuracies about American history and focuses on honoring the end of enslavement in this country.
Juneteenth Jamboree (Series): This series has annual episodes that dig into the celebration and Black culture in Texas.
High on the Hog, Season 1, Episode 4 – “Freedom”: This series takes a look at Black and African American chefs as it relates to how they influence the nation’s foods, past and present. The episode Freedom, celebrates Juneteenth and takes to Texas where it all started.