I did not know much about Juneteenth until I watched an episode of Blackish a couple years ago. When I started researching for this post, it turns out that I wasn’t the only one who learned about it from watching that episode!
In case you are not familiar with this holiday, it is celebrated on June 19th each year and is also known as Freedom Day. It marks the day in 1865 when Union troops rode into Galveston, TX and read federal orders letting the enslaved people there know that they were now free.
The Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier, but the news was slow to travel around the country. The people of Galveston were the last to hear about it.
Juneteenth is now a holiday that is observed in 47 states and many cities across America hold festivities celebrating it. Below are videos, books, hands on activities and a virtual museum tour to help your children learn about this important, but often overlooked holiday!
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Videos About Juneteenth
This animated video shares the meaning behind Juneteenth and how it has been celebrated. (Approx. 2:30 minutes)
Here is another short video that shares a little more of how the celebration of Juneteenth has changed throughout history. (Approx. 2 minutes)
Don’t have any story books about Juneteenth? Have Sankofa Read Aloud read one to your children. (3 min.)
Books About Juneteenth
Here is a list of 10 books about Juneteenth from picture books to young adult books to books for adults.
And another great list of 10 books including choices for elementary, middle and high school.
Download a free reading passage with vocabulary for middle schoolers.
Khan Academy also has an informative write-up about Juneteenth for older students. It includes some first hand reactions from people who were freed to the news that they were freed.
Hands On Activities
Grab this following direction activity to review the surrounding history in a fun hands on way.
Juneteenth Music Lesson
Music in Our Homeschool has a lesson for Juneteenth where they share three ‘Freedom Songs’ with you. Check out the free lesson here.
Include a virtual museum tour in your study. A great resource for this is exploring the various collections of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Have other activities for learning about Juneteenth? Share them below!