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Two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, the last enslaved African-Americans in Galveston, Texas, were told they were free. The date was June 19, 1865. Today, people in the United States continue to celebrate the day, Juneteenth.

In addition to radio programming on WXPN, a roundup of stories centering Black voices, and community events including Rec Philly’s Black Joy Matters: A Juneteenth Celebration of Black History and Music, we’ve compiled resources below for further reading, watching, listening, and learning.


JuneteenthPhilly – In past years this site has included information about Philly’s Juneteenth parade and festival. While it has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic, they’ve prepared a #JuneteenthQuarantine brochure with information that you can download here.

What Is Juneteenth? by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. – Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. This article is an in depth look at the history of Juneteenth that was part of PBS’s African Americans: Many Rivers To Cross series.

Understanding Juneteenth – Listen below to WXPN Kids Corner host Kathy O’Connell’s chat with Ivan Henderson, VP of Programming at the African American Museum in Philadelphia about the history behind Juneteeth.

wxpnfm · Understanding Juneteenth

Celebrating Juneteenth: The History Behind The Holiday – A radio special produced by On Point from WBUR in Boston featuring Daina Ramey Berry, professor of History and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin, journalist Van R. Newkirk II, from The Atlantic and others. Listen below.

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth – From Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture.

Teaching Tolerance: A Guide to Teaching Juneteenth – The history of Juneteenth acknowledges hard history while also empowering students to be advocates for change. This teaching guide is a project of the Southern Law Poverty Center.

13th – Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America. The Oscar-nominated film won Best Documentary at the Emmys, the BAFTAs and the NAACP Image Awards. Watch it below.

Juneteenth Virtual Tour 2020 – Freedom Under ThreatPresented by Iron Age Theatre and Theatre in the X, Now through June 21, watch three new videos each day considering issues of living free under threat after emancipation.

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