Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when slavery finally ended in America. Although the Emancipation Proclamation formally freed slaves two and a half years earlier, the order was slow to take effect in Southern states like Texas and Florida. Many slaveholders moved further South during the American Civil War to escape the fighting. On June 18, Union Army General Granger arrived at Galveston Island in Texas on behalf of the federal government. The following day, Granger announced the total emancipation of enslaved people.
Sankofa Read Aloud presents a reading series on YouTube that addresses the need for representation of African Americans in children’s literature. The Sankofa Read Aloud page says, “ I believe that it is vital that African American children are able to see themselves within the beautiful stories that they read. At Sankofa Read Aloud, your child will encounter a variety of short stories written for them by amazing authors.”
Timucua also believes that children learn the importance of their identity through representation in the arts. Juneteenth For Mazie by Floyd Cooper empowers children by teaching them about the liberation of African Americans. Cooper’s character Mazie learns about self-value by honoring her ancestor’s journey to freedom. This year we invite you and your family to read Cooper’s book and celebrate Juneteenth.