Juneteenth - 



Books For Children


Feature Films


Please scroll down to view all resources.

Juneteenth Articles (Will be regularly updated.)

Juneteenth Books (Will be regularly updated.)

Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution--the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward E. Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radically new interpretation of American history.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


An astonishing true tale of how he came of age as a black child in Nazi Germany. The son of a prominent African and a German nurse, Hans remained behind with his mother when Hitler came to power, due to concerns about his fragile health, after his father returned to Liberia. Like other German boys, Hans went to school; like other German boys, he swiftly 

fell under the Fuhrer's spell. So he was crushed to learn that, as a black child, he was ineligible for the Hitler Youth. His path to secondary education and an eventual profession was blocked. He now lived in fear that, at any moment, he might hear the Gestapo banging on the door -- or Allied bombs falling on his home. Ironic, moving, and deeply human, Massaquoi's account of this lonely struggle for survival brims with courage and intelligence.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


The real reason Americans owned slaves was not just financial. They did it because they liked it. For the first two centuries of American history, starting with the colonists, slavery was a part of the social, economic, and governmental order. Looking back, many of us find it more comfortable to view slave owners as evil or sociopathic. The startling truth is that many were otherwise admirable.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the black criticism it provokes?

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


We are living through something of a Baldwin renaissance, in large part thanks to Raoul Peck’s brilliant documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Any number of Baldwin’s books might earn a place on this list, but The Fire Next Time stands out. Consisting of two essays, one addressed to Baldwin’s nephew, it is a passionate and visceral plea to black and white America. It is the only document I know of that expresses the civil rights case as eloquently as the speeches of Martin Luther King.


Published in 1955, when most of Africa was still the colonial possession of one or other of the European powers, Césaire’s masterwork argues that the European empires were, like all empires, run for the profit of the colonizing powers, rather than for the benefit of the colonized peoples. More controversially, Césaire hypothesized that the roots of Nazism could be found in the toxic soil of imperialism.

Available Formats: Paperback

The Black Atlantic by Paul Gilroy (1993)

It was in this book that Gilroy laid out his concept of the “Black Atlantic”, the idea that black culture is essentially a hybrid, a product of centuries of exchange, slavery, and movement across the Atlantic. Exploring everything from the lives and work of African American philosophers such as WEB DuBois, to black popular music, Gilroy demonstrates that black culture is both “local” and “global”, and cannot be constrained within any single national culture. It flows across the black Atlantic of the book’s title. The influence of Gilroy’s work can be felt not only in modern scholarship but even in the work of the visual artist John Akomfrah.

Available Formats: Hardcover and Paperback


What turns a great book into a great political book is its impact, as much as its content. Both on the page and later on the television screen, Alex Haley’s masterpiece was a phenomenon. For African-Americans, whose familial links to Africa had been severed by slavery and racism, it was a revelation. Although Haley’s methodology has been criticized, the cultural impact of Roots remains undeniable.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Lists of great books tend to focus on works that are old enough to have become firmly established as classics. Michelle Alexander’s book, published just seven years ago, earns its place and already seems prescient. Controversially and passionately, it exposes the crisis that is the mass incarceration of African-American men in post-civil rights America.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


I’m sometimes nervous about books that use the phrase “white people” as if all “white people” or all “black people” can be categorized as being a single group. But Painter’s book is a clever history of the idea of “whiteness”. It demonstrates that several ethnic groups, whom we today automatically regard as being “white”, were once regarded as being outside of the white race.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Race Matters is to be re-issued later this year to mark its forthcoming 25th anniversary. The timing is grimly pertinent. Across a series of interweaving essays, West argues that racism is so much a part of American history and culture that it can only be addressed and confronted if that reality is confronted – and by Americans of all races.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


In June 1948, Peter Fryer, then a young reporter, was dispatched to Tilbury docks to report on the arrival of the Empire Windrush and the 492 West Indian migrants on board. That led, 36 years later, to the publication of Staying Power. At a time when little on the subject was written, Fryer created an encyclopedic panorama of the black presence in Britain.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Co-authored by Alex Haley and based on a series of interviews with Malcolm X, this is one of the greatest biographies of the last century. Through his own life story and that of the key figures of his troubled years in the underworld of New York, Malcolm bore witness to the racism of the 1930s and 40s. It’s impossible to believe he would occupy the cultural position he holds today had the book never been written.


I was in Tanzania when the news of Mandela’s death was announced. I rushed out and bought the only copy of Mandela’s 1994 biography I could find in the book shops of Dar es Salaam – others had felt the same urge to re-read the book. If apartheid was the most perfected and methodically applied system of racial oppression ever devised the Long Walk to Freedom is the ultimate denouncement of it. It is a statement of the obvious that Mandela was one of the great figures of our age. To fully understand how great you have to read his account of the infamous Rivonia trial.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


An astonishing true tale of how he came of age as a black child in Nazi Germany. The son of a prominent African and a German nurse, Hans remained behind with his mother when Hitler came to power, due to concerns about his fragile health, after his father returned to Liberia. Like other German boys, Hans went to school; like other German boys, he swiftly fell under the Fuhrer's spell. So he was crushed to learn that, as a black child, he was ineligible for the Hitler Youth. His path to secondary education and an eventual profession was blocked. He now lived in fear that, at any moment, he might hear the Gestapo banging on the door -- or Allied bombs falling on his home. Ironic, moving, and deeply human, Massaquoi's account of this lonely struggle for survival brims with courage and intelligence.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


In 1969, 21 members of the militant New York branch of the Black Panther Party were rounded up and indicted on multiple charges of violent acts and conspiracies. The membership of the NY 21, which includes the mother of Tupac Shakur, is largely forgotten and unknown. Their legacy, however—reflected upon here in this special edition—provides essential truths which have remained largely hidden.

Available Formats: Kindle and Paperback


Was the black power movement part of the civil rights movement, or something separate? Joseph, a leading figure in the new black power studies, makes the case for its singularity in the most comprehensive overview of the topic published to date. Rather than seeing black power as a series of unconnected iconic episodes and images – Black Panthers toting guns, the clenched fist salutes at the 1968 Olympics, Angela Davis's loud and proud Afro–Joseph presents a picture of a coherent movement with its distinct politics and sensibilities.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


This powerful, intensely dramatic book is the definitive account of the Haitian Revolution of 1794-1803, a revolution that began in the wake of the Bastille but became the model for the Third World liberation movements from Africa to Cuba. It is the story of the French colony of San Domingo, a place where the brutality of masters toward slaves was commonplace and ingeniously refined. And it is the story of a barely literate slave named Toussaint L'Ouverture, who led the black people of San Domingo in a successful struggle against successive invasions by overwhelming French, Spanish, and English forces and in the process helped form the first independent nation in the Caribbean.

Available Formats: Hardcover and Paperback


From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment. Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


The Black Power movement is one of the most misunderstood movements in history. Decades of negative media coverage and stereotypes have contributed to that. Here Peniel Joseph dives in deep and shows where and how the Black Power movement diverged from and overlapped with other racial equality movements, from its inception with Stokely Carmichael at the helm to the rise of the Black Panther Party.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America--now in paperback with a new afterword by the author, acclaimed historian Carol Anderson.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


On May 2, 1973, Black Panther Assata Shakur (aka JoAnne Chesimard) lay in a hospital, close to death, handcuffed to her bed, while local, state, and federal police attempted to question her about the shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike that had claimed the life of a white state trooper. Long a target of J. Edgar Hoover's campaign to defame, infiltrate and criminalize Black nationalist organizations and their leaders, Shakur was incarcerated for four years before her conviction on flimsy evidence in 1977 as an accomplice to murder. This intensely personal and political autobiography belies the fearsome image of JoAnne Chesimard long projected by the media and the state. With wit and candor, Assata Shakur recounts the experiences that led her to a life of activism and portray the strengths, weaknesses and eventual demise of Black and White revolutionary groups at the hand of government officials. The result is a signal contribution to the literature about growing up Black in America that has already taken its place alongside "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" and the works of Maya Angelou. Two years after her conviction, Assata Shakur escaped from prison. She was given political asylum by Cuba, where she now resides."

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, George Starling, and Robert Foster. Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


A powerful study of the women's liberation movement in the U.S., from abolitionist days to the present, demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders. From the widely revered and legendary political activist and scholar Angela Davis.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


From one of this country's most important intellectuals comes a brilliant analysis of the blues tradition that examines the careers of three crucial black women blues singers through a feminist lens. Angela Davis provides the historical, social, and political contexts with which to reinterpret the performances and lyrics of Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday as powerful articulations of an alternative consciousness profoundly at odds with mainstream American culture.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, and Paperback


Giving voice to a population too rarely acknowledged, Sweet Tea collects more than sixty life stories from black gay men who were born, raised, and continue to live in the South. E. Patrick Johnson challenges stereotypes of the South as "backward" or "repressive" and offers a window into the ways black gay men negotiate their identities, build community, maintain friendship networks, and find sexual and life partners--often in spaces and activities that appear to be anti-gay. Ultimately, Sweet Tea validates the lives of these black gay men and reinforces the role of storytelling in both African American and southern cultures.

Available Formats: Kindle, Paperback, and Audiobook


In this groundbreaking work, bestselling sociologist James W. Loewen, author of the national bestseller Lies My Teacher Told Me, brings to light decades of hidden racial exclusion in America. In a provocative, sweeping analysis of American residential patterns, Loewen uncovers the thousands of “sundown towns”—almost exclusively white towns where it was an unspoken rule that blacks could not live there—that cropped up throughout the twentieth century, most of them located outside of the South. These towns used everything from legal formalities to violence to create homogenous Caucasian communities—and their existence has gone unexamined until now. For the first time, Loewen takes a long, hard look at the history, sociology, and continued existence of these towns, contributing an essential new chapter to the study of American race relations.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Black LGBTQ people have long been an integral part of black history. A crucial part of their more recent history has been captured in this essential non-fiction book, which has won rave reader reviews and recommendations by WH Smith and notables such as Peter Tatchell and Lord Paul Boateng. Born in early 1960s London to Jamaican parents, Vernal has written the only self-published title to be shortlisted for the 2014 Polari First Book Prize. Featuring text and photos over 600 pages, it is quite an astonishing account of Black culture and sexuality, ‘coming out, the ‘AIDS war years’, gay fatherhood, politics, ‘damaging religion’, hate, love, and more.

Available Formats: Kindle and Paperback


In The Black Calhouns, Gail Lumet Buckley—daughter of actress Lena Horne—delves deep into her family history, detailing the experiences of an extraordinary African-American family from Civil War to Civil Rights.

Available Formats: Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback, and Audiobook


Juneteenth Books For Children (Will be regularly updated.)


Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

By: Doreen Rappaport
Illustrated by: Bryan Collier
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up fascinated by big words. He would later go on to use these words to inspire a nation and call people to action. In this award-winning book, powerful portraits of King show how he used words, not weapons, to fight injustice.

Through My Eyes

By: Ruby Bridges
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Six-year-old Ruby Bridges became the first African American to integrate into an elementary school. Her memories of that year, when so much hatred was directed at her, make for a powerful memoir. A 1999 Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner.

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer

By: Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by: Ekua Holmes
Genre: Nonfiction, Biography, Poetry
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Stirring poems and vibrant collage illustrations combine to celebrate the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of the Civil Rights and voting rights movements during the 1950s through the 1970s. Born in the Mississippi delta, the youngest of 20 children, Hamer had to drop out of school after sixth grade to work in the cotton fields before she became a powerful voice for her people. The book vividly brings to life Hamer’s legacy with a message of hope, determination, and strength.

The Dream Keeper and Other Poems

By: Langston Hughes
Illustrated by: Brian Pinkney
Genre: Poetry
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The great American poet Langston Hughes chose the poems in this classic collection, originally published for young people in 1932.

Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt

By: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clara is born into slavery but learns an important skill when she becomes a seamstress. Her quilting ability allows Clara to put together directions to escape north to freedom when she overhears a conversation about a route to Canada.

Two Friends
by Dean Robbins
Illustrated by Selina Alko, Sean Qualls
Ages Level: 7-10
Genre: Historical Fiction

Some people had rights, while others had none. Why shouldn't they have them, too? Two friends, Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass, get together for tea and conversation. They recount their similar stories of fighting to win rights for women and African Americans. The premise of this particular exchange between the two is based on a statue in their hometown of Rochester, New York, which shows the two friends having tea. The text by award-winning writer Dean Robbins teaches about the fight for women's and African Americans' rights in an accessible, engaging manner for young children.

Minty: A Story Of Young Harriet Tubman
by Alan Schroeder
Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Age Level: 5-7
Genre: Biography and Autobiography

Many people know about Harriet Tubman's adult life — how she helped hundreds of slaves escape to freedom along the Underground Railroad. But how many know about Harriet Tubman's life as a child on the Brodas plantation in the late 1820s? As a young slave, nicknamed "Minty," Harriet Tubman was a feisty and stubborn girl with a dream of escape, and whose rebellious spirit often got her into trouble. Pinkney's expressive illustrations bring every emotion to brilliant life — from troubled sorrow to spirited hope for freedom.

Dad, Jackie, And Me
by Myron Uhlberg
Illustrated by Colin Bootman
Age Level: 8-10
Genre: Historical Fiction

An inspiring and sentimental tale of one famous summer in Brooklyn in 1947. It is the summer of 1947 and a highly-charged baseball season is underway in New York. Jackie Robinson is the new first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers — and the first black player in major league baseball. A young boy shares the excitement of Robinson's rookie season with his deaf father. Each day he listens eagerly to the Brooklyn Dodgers games on the radio. When his father arrives home from work, the boy uses sign language to tell him about the Dodgers. His father begins to keep a scrapbook, clipping photos and articles about Jackie. Finally one day the father delivers some big news: they are going to Ebbets Field to watch Jackie play in person!

What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld
Recommended ages: 8 and up

Did you know that African-American inventors had a hand in everything from the ice cream scoop and the refrigerated food truck to cortisone cream and open-heart surgery? In this book co-authored by NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, kids can learn about the great minds behind important inventions, product improvements, and scientific and medical discoveries that we take for granted.

Juneteenth Documentaries (Will be regularly updated.)

The PBS Series: The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross

This series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent right up to today when America has a black president, yet remains a nation deeply divided by race.      

  1. Episode 1: The Black Atlantic (1500-1800)
  2. Episode 2: The Age of Slavery (1800 -1860)
  3. Episode 3: Into the Fire (1861-1896) 
  4. Episode 4: Making a way Out of no way (1897-1940)
  5. Episode 5: Rise! (1940 - 1968)
  6. Episode 6: A More Perfect Union (1968 - 2013)

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 For three decades, the film canisters sat undisturbed in a cellar beneath the Swedish National Broadcasting Company. Inside was roll after roll of startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage shot in the 1960s and 1970s in the United States, all of it focused on the anti-war and Black Power movements. When filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson discovered the footage, he decided he had a responsibility to shepherd this glimpse of history into the world. With contemporary audio interviews from leading African American artists, activists, musicians, and scholars, The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fueled an era of convulsive change. Utilizing an innovative format that riffs on the popular 1970s mixtape format, Mixtape is a cinematic and musical journey into the black communities of America.


13TH: A Netflix Original In this thought-provoking documentary, scholars, activists, and politicians analyze the criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. prison boom. Available on Netflix

Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads 1965–1985


Season 2, Episode 1:The Time Has Come: 1964-1966  Episode focuses on black militancy and the roots of the black power movement. Also tracks the influence of ideas of black separatism and black nationalism on a new generation of blacks and analyzes the long-term impact they had on whites who supported the freedom movement.


Season 2, Episode 2: Two Societies: 1965-1968  Northern cities served as the backdrop for confrontations on a scale the civil rights movement had never seen before the mid-1960s. Scarred by widespread discrimination, black inner-city neighborhoods became sites of crumbling houses, poverty, and street violence. Although the black-led movement for social change and equality in the North had a long history, it had not received the same media attention the struggle in the South had.


Season 2, Episode 3: Power!: 1966-1968 Exploring the influence of the idea of black power on the freedom movement. Follows leaders of three black communities in their efforts to gain political and economic power that would enable advancements in employment, housing and education.


Season 2, Episode 4: The Promised Land: 1967-1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. stakes out new ground for himself and the rapidly fragmenting civil rights movement. He is assassinated in Memphis at the Lorraine Motel.


Season 2, Episode 5: Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More: 1964-1972 Call to pride and push for unity galvanize blacks. Cassius Clay challenges America to accept him as Muhammad Ali, who refuses to fight in Vietnam. Students at Howard University fight to bring the growing black consciousness movement and their African heritage inside the walls of the institution.

Season 2, Episode 6: A Nation of Law?: 1968-1971 Black activism is increasingly met with violent and unethical responses from local and federal law enforcement. A five-day inmate takeover at Attica Prison calls the public's attention to conditions there leaving 43 dead: 39 killed by police.


Season 2, Episode 7: The Keys to the Kingdom: 1974-1980 In the 1970s, anti-discrimination rights are put to the test. Boston whites violently resist the federal school desegregation order. Atlanta's mayor Jackson proves affirmative action can work, but Bakke’s decision challenges that policy.


Season 2, Episode 8: Back to the Movement: 1979-Mid 1980s Episode explores new and old challenges that black communities faced 25 years after the civil rights struggle began. It follows black communities in Miami and Chicago and chronicles their dramatically different responses to these challenges.


The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela This 2-hour PBS FRONTLINE documentary covers Nelson Mandela's amazing life story, from his radical political activism in Johannesburg as a youth to his over 20-year imprisonment, and then to his remarkable rise as the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999 in which he presided over the dismantling of apartheid. This documentary features excellent footage from all periods in Mandela's life along with interviews of the people closest to him. It's a story that must be heard to be believed.


For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots A two-part, four-hour documentary series honoring African-American servicemen and women.

The Trials of Muhammad Ali (2013) investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject's life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America's controversies over race, religion, and war. Available on Amazon Video and iTunes.

Black America Since MLK: And Still I Rise parts 1-4 Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state of black America—and our nation as a whole.

Parts 1 & 2 Parts 3 & 4

Juneteenth Feature Films (Will be regularly updated.)

Juneteenth Podcast (Will be regularly updated.)

What Is Juneteenth? Historians Explain The Holiday's Importance

#Juneteenth #Resources #EmancipationDay #FreedomDay #DemsAbroad #GlobalBlackCaucus #VoteFromAbroad #BlackLivesMatter #BlackVotesMatter #History #FederalHoliday