Learning about our history is important to the building of self-pride in each generation. And there is no better way to do this than through reading together as a family. Juneteenth is upon us once again and these five books are great ways to teach kids about the holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans.
For Pre-K to Age 5
This story written by Shanita Arrindell is simple and straightforward in order to help the youngest ones in the family understand and learn about the concepts of slavery and freedom, teaching them that they too have the spirit of triumph in their veins.
For Ages 5-9
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, written by Angela Johnson, recants the story of the first Juneteenth that was celebrated in 1865 through the perspective of a young enslaved girl. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of terms.
For Ages 9-14
This activity book will not only teach those 9-14 about this important holiday, it will also be something for the entire family to enjoy. This book, by Ama Karikari Yawson, explores African Heritage, slavery, the abolition movement and Juneteenth through vocabulary words, essay questions, coloring pages, and other fun exercises such as designing and creating their own flag to represent Juneteenth.
For Ages 14 and up
Written by Clint Smith, according to Parents.com, How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America explores the legacy of slavery and its imprint on centuries of American history. It’s a great book for parents to read with older children. The writer takes readers on tours of U.S. monuments and landmarks that are central to the story of American slavery and by so doing, shows how much slavery has shaped American memory and history.
According to a New York Times Book Review, The Color of Law, written by Richard Rothstein, is a “powerful and disturbing history [that] exposes how American governments deliberately imposed racial segregation on metropolitan areas nationwide.” This book investigates all branches of governments and how they intentionally imposed residential racial segregation on people during the 20th century.