Thursday / April 25

Read, Rise, and Resist: Teaching Juneteenth Year-Round

June 19th, 1865 marks the day Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas with one message: the Civil War was over, and centuries of chattel slavery ended with it. Ever since, this day has represented the celebration of freedom and resistance for Black communities across the country, Texas and beyond. Despite becoming a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth is the oldest national celebration of enslaved peoples’ emancipation.

The news arrived to the people of Texas two years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, yet most students in the United States believe January 1st, 1863 to be the day that ended slavery in the United States (rather than the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865). To this day, America’s schools have framed slavery as “workers” arriving in America from Africa, asked students to list the “positive aspects” of slavery, and 58 percent of teachers did not believe their textbook covered slavery well.

To celebrate Juneteenth year-round – incorporating its themes of resilience, resistance, freedom, education, human rights, and dignity – we’ve compiled a list of resources for teachers to incorporate into their classrooms and discussions of slavery’s impact on America.

Do you celebrate Juneteenth? What are some ways that you and your family or community celebrate?

Have a great start to your summer!

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