Today is Juneteenth, the 19th of June, and the day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Although the Emancipation Proclamation was signed two and a half years earlier in 1863, at that time without mass media, it actually took the physical arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, to announce to the last of the slaves held there that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Hence, the birthing of a new Independence Day.
Juneteenth not only commemorates the abolition of slavery, but also is growing to be a multicultural and global celebration of freedom in general. Specifically, it is an opportunity to build cultural awareness, and in many communities, to educate young African-American generations about the struggles of their past and how their ancestors prevailed. Gratitude and pride, story and song make up many Juneteenth celebrations.
Explore further the intriguing times after the Emancipation through the following Falvey resources about Juneteenth , curated by history librarian, Jutta Seibert. Contact Jutta for her guidance through your research needs and also for her help navigating the wealth of books and online library materials.
- African American Studies Center Online (AASCO)
AASCO is a great source about African American history in general. It includes the Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, and the African American National Biography project. AASCO also includes primary sources and images.
- African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century
Follow the life of Harriet Tubman as chronicled in the African American Press.
- Historical New York Times, 1851-2009
A report about the white resistance to emancipation in Texas from July 1865:
“The Negro Question in Texas.” New York Times (1857-1922), Jul 09, 1865.
Secondary sources about the tradition of Juneteenth celebrations in the Falvey collection:
Kachun Mitch. “Celebrating Freedom: Juneteenth and the Emancipation Festival Tradition.” InRemixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial, edited by Thomas J. Brown, 73-91. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. [E641 .R45 2011]
Links and resources prepared by Jutta Seibert, director of Academic Integration and subject librarian for History. Contact information: Jutta.Seibert@villanova.edu, telephone: 610-519-7876, office: room 228.