This year, 2021, marks the first year Juneteenth is recognized as a federal holiday. This holiday commemorates the end of slavery—specifically when the last enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, were given word about the Emancipation Proclamation on June 19, 1865.
As we advocate for this Monument and just public lands management, we recognize the many ways Black people in this country have been left out of public lands creation and management decisions. Black people could not vote before 1965, meaning they had no say in public lands up until that point. Park availability and access was not equal, as many parks were segregated. And even after desegregation, the effects of discrimination continue to affect participation in outdoor recreation.
As an organization, we are trying to understand this history better and participate in actions that can lead to inclusion in this space and beyond. We invite you to join us as we look at resources to understand our past to achieve a just, inclusive future.
“The world may have just woken up to Juneteenth in the last year, but we — and countless Black musical artists, podcasters, filmmakers, organizers and everyday people — been knew. If you’re in search of cultural content that will shake up your Juneteenth in the best way, with narratives and portraits of Black joy, Black love and Black freedom, look no further.”
Check out more in this article by the Los Angeles Times: A resource guide for Black liberation, just in time for Juneteenth
Books and Podcasts
Here are a list of great books to educate yourself. If you’re looking for a copy, be sure to support a Black-owned bookstore, such as Marcus Books, the oldest independent Black bookstore in the country, or Mahogany Books, an online-only bookstore specializing in books “written for, by, or about people of the African Diaspora.”
Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi
-Ibram X. Kendi gives a comprehensive history of race in the United States split into five time periods: 1415-1728. 1743-1826, 1826-1879, 1863-1963 and 1963-today. The book itself focuses on overlooked stories and figures to illustrate the development of racist ideas and the origins in America. The 2016 National Nonfiction Book Award Winner has also been adapted into a version for younger audiences — Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Pulitzer-Prize winning author shares the untold story of the “Great Migration,” also known as the “Black Migration,” a period in which six million African Americans moved out of the Southern United States between 1916 and 1970 into cities like Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Washington D.C, creating rich cultural, social and political communities of their own.
How the Word is Passed by Clint Smith
-In his book Clint Smith makes the argument that history is told through the perspective of the victors, examining eight topics in United States History to reckon with the idea of who we thought we were and what is remembered.
On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reed
-Historian Annette Gordon-Reed utilizes a series of short stories and essays to tell the journey it took for Major General Gordon Granger to announce the end of legalized slavery in Texas on June 19, 1865.
Here are some other podcasts, besides The 1619 Project, that provide more information.
History of Juneteenth, NPR
An oral history of Juneteenth and the events that took place on June 19, 1865 when legal slavery ended in Texas, thus marking the end of enslavement in all of the United States.
Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories
Through a series of 23 episodes, recordings from 1932 to 1975 of Freed Black Americans retelling their stories are retold for the first time in an auditory format, telling the stories of life as an African American in the United States from 1860’s to the 1930’s and beyond.
Hosted by Trymaine Lee, each episode looks at the reality of being Black in America and what it means to “hold truth to power and hold this country to its promises.”
Black Wall Street 1921
The episodic podcast told by Nia Clark tells the story of life before, during and after the Tulsa Race Massacre that resulted in the death of as many as 300 Black Americans and destroyed 35 square blocks of the town.
From Outdoor Afro: “Join us in an outdoor reflection in commemoration of Juneteenth and share your thoughts with Outdoor Afro. The question we ask ourselves is “What does freedom mean to me in America?”. Spend 2.5 hours in nature to reflect in honor of the 2.5 years freedom was delayed for 250,000 enslaved people of Galveston, TX. Let’s go outdoors!”
Find out more and register for the event here: outdoorafro.com/juneteenth2021