The following is a listing of new and forthcoming adult, children’s, and young adult fiction and nonfiction titles on the history and social impact of Juneteenth (June 19, 1865), the newly enacted national holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans at the end of the Civil War.
James Montgomery: Abolitionist Warrior
Robert C. Conner, out now
A full biography of James Montgomery, a Civil War soldier whose actions before and during the Civil War contributed towards the abolition of slavery.
My People: Five Decades of Writing About Black Lives
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Oct.
The legendary journalist vividly chronicles the experience of Black life in America, spanning from the Civil Rights Movement through the election and inauguration of America’s first Black president and beyond.
Illustrated Black History
George McCalman, Sept.
A collection of 145 original portraits depicting black heroes—both famous and unsung—who made their mark on activism, science, politics, business, and more, with an essay summarizing each person’s life story; includes former slaves whose lives were transformed by the end of slavery that Juneteenth represents.
Street Diplomacy: The Politics of Slavery and Freedom in Philadelphia, 1820–1850
Eliot Drago, Nov.
Piecing together fragmentary source material from archives, correspondence, genealogies, and newspapers, Drago examines how Philadelphia's antebellum free Black community defended themselves against kidnappings and how this "street diplomacy" forced Pennsylvanians to confront the politics of slavery.
Happy Dreams of Liberty: An American Family in Slavery and Freedom
R. Isabela Morales, out now
When Samuel Townsend died at his Alabama home in 1856, the fifty-two-year-old white planter left almost all his fortune to his five sons, four daughters, and two nieces–all of them his slaves; Morales reconstructs the migration of this mixed-race family across the American West and South over the second half of the nineteenth century.
Lifting the Chains: The Black Freedom Struggle Since Reconstruction
William H. Chafe, July
A history of the Black experience in America since the Civil War argues that, despite the wishes and arguments of many whites to the contrary, the struggle for freedom has been carried out primarily by Black Americans, with only occasional assistance from whites.
Black Man Listen: The Life of J.R. Ralph Casimir
Kathy Casimir MacLean, Oct.
This biography by his granddaughter is the first in-depth look at the life of the Dominican whose dedication to Pan-Africanist ideas is reflected in his writings and in his links with Garvey and other key African-American figures of the time.
Thirteen Months in Dixie, or, the Adventures of a Federal Prisoner in Texas: Including the Red River Campaign, Imprisonment at Camp Ford, and Escape Overland to Liberated Shreveport, 1864-1865
Edited by Jeaninne Surette Honstein and Steven A. Knowlton, Sept.
A true account of hardship and heroism during the last days of the Civil War in the words of Oscar Federhen, a recruit to the 13th Massachusetts Light Artillery who shipped out to Louisiana in the spring of 1864 to participate in the Red River Campaign.
General Grant and the Verdict of History: Memoir, Memory, and the Civil War
Frank P. Varney, Oct.
Examines Grant’s relationship with three noted Civil War generals: “Fighting Joe” Hooker; George H. Thomas; and Gouverneur Kemble Warren.
Grant at 200: Reconsidering the Life and Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant
Edited by Chris Mackowski and Frank J. Scaturro, Oct.
Essays by some of today’s leading Grant scholars offer fresh perspectives on Grant’s military career and presidency, as well as underexplored personal topics such as his faith and his family life, including post-Civil War and his actions taken to help bring the nation together after a great period of wounding.
More Great “What Ifs” of the American Civil War: Historians Tackle More of the Conflict’s Most Intriguing Possibilities
Edited by Chris Mackowski and Brian Matthew Jordan, Oct.
Historians at Emerging Civil War tackle more of the war’s most enduring questions to help readers look at what could have happened with a full multitude of choices and clear and objective eyes.
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Watermelon and Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations
Nicole A. Taylor, out now
Bridges the traditional African-American table and 21st-century flavors in stories and over 75 recipes, delivering an essential cookbook that is both celebratory with the pleasures of good food, and heavy with the weight of history.
His Name Is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice
Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, out now
The prizewinning Washington Post reporters examine how systemic racism shaped George Floyd's life and legacy—from his family’s roots in in slavery and sharecropping, to ongoing inequality in housing, education, health care, criminal justice, and policing.
Half American: The Epic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad
Matthew F. Delmont, Oct.
The civil rights expert and Dartmouth history professor examines the history of World War II from the African American perspective; over one million Black men and women served in World War II in segregated units and performing unheralded but vital support jobs, only to be denied housing and educational opportunities on their return home.
Do The Work! An Antiracist Activity Book
W. Kamau Bell and Kate Schatz, July
An illustrated workbook packed with activities, games, illustrations, comics, and eye-opening conversations, challenging readers to think critically and act effectively, including attending and funding local community celebrations and commemorations such as Juneteenth.
Our Story Starts in Africa
Patrice Lawrence, illus. by Jeanetta Gonzales, Sept.
Tante and her inquisitive niece share the story of how her family came to the Caribbean, through the dark days of colonization and enslavement, to the emergence of a thriving, contemporary community. Ages 4-8.
Black-Eyed Peas and Hoghead Cheese: A Story of Food, Family, and Freedom
Glenda Armand, illus. by Steffi Walthall, Sept.
A little girl helping her grandmother prepare a holiday meal listens as Grandma tells stories dating back to the Atlantic Slave Trade—about the food for their feast; through these stories, she learns about her ancestors and their history. Ages 3-7.
Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual
Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Frank Morrison, Sept.
Reworks the classic lyrics of the popular spiritual “Standing in the Need of Prayer” to chronicle the milestones, struggles, tragedies, and triumphs of African American history, starting from 1619 and stretching more than 400 years. Ages 6-9.
Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth
Alice Faye Duncan, out now
The true story of Black activist Opal Lee and her effort to gain national recognition for Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone celebrates Black joy and inspires children to see their dreams blossom. Ages 4-8.
What Is Juneteenth?
Kirsti Jewel and Who HQ, illus. by Manuel Gutierrez, out now
Shares stories from Juneteenth celebrations, both past and present, and chronicles the history that led to the creation of this holiday that celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the U.S. Ages 8-12.
The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States
Alliah L. Agostini, illus. by Sawyer Cloud, out now
Provides an accessible introduction for kids to learn about this American holiday. Juneteenth’s powerful spirit has endured through the centuries to become an official holiday in the United States in 2021. Ages 6-9.
Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom
Sharon Dennis Wyeth, illus. by Kim Holt, out now
Learn more about this annual celebration that is observed by more and more Americans with parades, picnics, family gatherings, and reflection on the words of historical figures, to mark the day when freedom truly rang for all. Ages 5-8.
TEACHER CREATED MATERIALS
Amanda Jackson Green, June
Students will learn how enslaved people fought for freedom and what Juneteenth represents, in an easy-to-follow way; the book also includes a short fiction piece related to the topic, a glossary, an index, and other features. Ages 8-12.
UNION SQUARE KIDS
Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem
Sojourner Kinkaid Rolle, illus. by Alex Bostic, out now
Through free verse, poet and activist Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Tex., to contemporary observances all over the country. Ages 4-8.
The Story of Juneteenth
Dorena Williamson, illus. by Markia Jenai, out now
An introduction to the events of June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Tex., to inform the people of Texas that all enslaved people were declared free and the Civil War had ended, and connects those events to today’s celebrations. Ages 2-5.