Honoring Juneteenth

On June 19th, we gather to commemorate Juneteenth, a significant and historic observance that symbolizes the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. Juneteenth serves as a powerful reminder of the struggles endured and victories achieved by those who fought tirelessly for freedom and equality.

At Anne Arundel County Public Library, we proudly stand united with the nation in recognizing and honoring Juneteenth. In observance of this federal holiday, our libraries will be closed Wednesday, June 19 and reopen on Thursday, June 20th. 

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a recently ratified federal holiday celebrating the end of slavery in the United States. It's also known as Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day, Juneteenth National Independence Day and Black Independence Day. Notably, Juneteenth achieved federal holiday status on June 17, 2021. This official recognition extends across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Why is Juneteenth important?

On June 19th, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, TX, and announced the end of the Civil War and slavery. Despite the Emancipation Proclamation being issued two and a half years earlier, many slaveholders continued to hold Black Americans captive. Juneteenth later became a symbolic date representing African American freedom. Today, Juneteenth serves as a reminder of the past civil rights efforts that have led us to where we are today and the ongoing need to confront and dismantle racism to ensure progress toward an equitable and just nation for everyone.

Explore Juneteenth with Anne Arundel County Public Library

In celebration of Juneteenth, we are excited to take part in the upcoming Juneteenth Parade & Festival on Saturday, June 22nd in Annapolis. Come join us in celebration of this holiday with live music, entertainment, food and vendors down at Bates Athletic Complex. The parade kicks off at noon at College Street and runs along West Street to Amos Garrett Boulevard. We hope to see you there!

We also invite you to check out our curated booklist, online resources and databases dedicated to highlighting and celebrating African American history and culture. Through our diverse collections and resources, our goal is to promote awareness, understanding and celebration of the contributions made by African Americans throughout history.

Choose your next read from our list of books or research with our online databases!

Juneteenth is a time to reflect, educate and uplift. It serves as a powerful testament to the enduring spirit of those who fought for freedom and justice and encourages us to follow in their footsteps toward building a better society for us all. Together, let us honor their legacy and pave the way for a future built upon equality, compassion and justice.

Published June 17, 2024

Juneteenth Booklist