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Public Libraries Celebrate Juneteenth

by Eliana Kleiman, Communications Associate, Public Library Association, ekleiman@ala.org on June 17, 2022

The American Library Association is closed on Monday, June 20th in observance of Juneteenth. This weekend, public libraries around the country are celebrating Juneteenth and Black freedom with events, discussions, book recommendations and more. Read on to find a list of compiled Juneteenth events and resources from public libraries in some major cities. 

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration honoring the official end of slavery in the United States. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation, by executive federal order, proclaimed that all slaves were free. However, the Civil War continued as rebel states such as Texas refused to obey the order. On June 19, 1865, two months after Confederate general Robert E. Lee surrendered, Union General Gordon Granger led thousands of troops into Galveston, Texas to announce the freedom of all enslaved African Americans. Granger’s announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation more than two-and-a-half years after it was issued. Juneteenth became an official federal holiday in 2020.  

Learn more about Juneteenth and the history of the American Library Association’s Black Caucus in this 2020 Intersections blog post, written by ALA Black Caucus founder and writer/lecturer/librarian/professional storyteller Binnie Tate Wilkin.  

Following are links to Juneteenth event pages and resources happening in public libraries, in some major U.S. cities: 

Baltimore https://www.bcpl.info/blog/2022/virtual-book-display-celebrate-juneteenth 

Birmingham https://bplolinenews.blogspot.com/2022/06/celebrate-juneteenth-at-birmingham.html 

Chicago https://www.chipublib.org/news/celebrate-juneteenth-with-cpl/ 

Detroit https://detroitpubliclibrary.org/news/juneteenth-at-the-detroit-public-library 

Houston https://thebuzzmagazines.com/calendar-events/juneteenth-with-houston-public-library 

Jacksonville https://jaxpubliclibrary.org/tags/juneteenth 

Los Angeles https://www.lapl.org/juneteenth 

Minneapolis https://www.hclib.org/about/news/2022/May/juneteenth 

New York City https://www.nypl.org/spotlight/juneteenth 

Oakland https://oaklandlibrary.org/juneteenth/ 

Philadelphia https://libwww.freelibrary.org/calendar/event/112940 

San Diego https://sandiego.librarymarket.com/event/juneteenth-and-black-music-month-celebration 

San Jose https://www.sjpl.org/blog/why-we-celebrate-juneteenth 

Salt Lake City https://www.slcolibrary.org/events/featured/juneteenth 

St. Paul https://sppl.org/juneteenth/ 

Washington, DC https://dclibrary.libnet.info/event/6753842 

Read more about Juneteenth here.

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