Juneteenth celebrates the liberation of enslaved people in the United States. Started in Texas in 1865 (2.5 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed) when finally enough Union soldiers were able to enter Texas and overthrow those who had resisted the executive order to free those they had enslaved.
It is an incredibly important holiday in our history and something I’ve enjoyed learning more about this year. In my journey to be a good ancestor, I have taken the time to learn about this holiday that, admittedly, I didn’t know much about before. I’ve also sought out opportunities to contribute positively to this history. I know so many of you are on the journey to become better ancestors with me, so I thought I would share some of my favorite resources here!
The Black National Anthem
Listen to the Black National Anthem and read the lyrics.
“Lift every voice and sing ‘Til earth and heaven ring Ring with the harmony of Liberty”
RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES
Juneteenth for Mazie
A great book for kids about Juneteenth, what it means for Mazie’s family and how we can all celebrate and remember what this day means.
Juneteenth Neighbor Gifts
Jasmine from the First Name Basis Podcast put together this fantastic idea for celebrating Juneteenth and sharing a gift with your neighbors. It includes a recipe for strawberry lemonade and a free printable!
Transcribe Letters with Last Seen
After slavery had ended, Black families who had been torn apart by slavery were left broken and searching for one another. Many took out ads in newspapers describing the last time they’d seen their loved ones, what they looked like and how they could re-connect. The Last Seen Project finds and digitizes these articles and volunteers can sign up to transcribe them. They currently don’t have articles to transcribe, but their website is full of great information, you can read articles that have been transcribed, and sign up to help once more articles are avaialable.
Transcribe Anti-Slavery Letters
https://www.antislaverymanuscripts.org/The Boston Public Library has asked for help transcribing many letters from anti-slavery activists in the 19th century to make them more widely available for research, students, historians, and all of us. Sign up here.