Freedom’s Gifts: A Juneteenth Story, ages 7 to 10
It’s difficult for many people today to imagine a world in which the only way to communicate information was through writing physical letters, and the USPS didn’t do overnight delivery. Messages could take months to get from one place to another, which is why the Emancipation Proclamation took years to make its way all the way across the country. This book follows the story of little girl June, her cousin Lillie, and their elderly Aunt Marshall through a day of celebrating the day Texan slaves received the news they had been emancipated. It takes place in 1943, when a young June is losing enthusiasm for the Juneteenth holiday. It was a time when Texas still had “Whites Only” signs posted on many buildings – something that inspires June’s understanding that there is still much work to be done in the country for racial relations at the time, and reignites her respect for the holiday.