This Juneteenth, we acknowledge, celebrate and commemorate the achievements that African Americans have been a part of. Juneteenth is an annual reminder that African Americans have stopped at nothing to be seen, heard, and felt.
We hope these June Hue-Man Recommendations move you, inform you, or even encourage you to stop at nothing when seeking liberation, autonomy, and the means to authentically be YOU!
Juneteenth (A Novel)
by Ralph Ellison
► In Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison evokes the rhythms of jazz and gospel and ordinary speech to tell a powerful tale of a prodigal son in the twentieth century. At the time of his death in 1994, Ellison was still expanding his novel in other directions, envisioning a grand, perhaps multivolume, story cycle. Always, in his mind, the character Hickman and the story of Sunraider’s life from birth to death were the dramatic heart of the narrative. And so, with the aid of Ellison’s widow, Fanny, his literary executor, John Callahan, has edited this magnificent novel at the center of Ralph Ellison’s forty-year work in progress—its author’s abiding testament to the country he so loved and to its many unfinished tasks.
by Annette Gordon-Reed
► The essential, sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to American history, as told by a Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed.
Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed—herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s—forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all.
Juneteenth for Mazie
by Floyd Cooper
► Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty and freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history. The day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth. In this children’s narrative, Floyd Copper captures the essence of liberation and the celebration of African American Freedom in the United States with his illustrations.
All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom
by Angela Johnson, with illustrations by E.B. Lewis
► Through the eyes of one little girl, All Different Now tells the story of the first Juneteenth, the day freedom finally came to the last of the slaves in the South. Since then, the observance of June 19 as African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond. This stunning picture book includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of relevant terms. Told in Angela Johnson’s signature melodic style and brought to life by E.B. Lewis’s striking paintings, All Different Now is a joyous portrait of the dawn breaking on the darkest time in our nation’s history.