Juneteenth Reading List

Flossmoor is a community steeped in history and energized by diversity and inclusion in all its forms. As we work to become more united, it is important to remember the journey and struggles of African Americans throughout our country’s history. Although our country was founded on the bold declaration that all men were created equal, we know that this was not truly the case. On June 19, 1865, more than two years after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, General Gordon Granger issued a general order freeing the remaining slaves in Texas, although slavery was not outlawed in the United States until the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December 1865. 

Juneteenth is a day to celebrate the emancipation of the enslaved people in Texas and a day to recognize the generations of African Americans who fought and gave so much in the quest for freedom and civil rights. On Juneteenth, we are all called upon to recognize the significance of the day and join hearts and hands across Flossmoor to make it the welcoming, beautiful and connected community we all hold dear.

In collaboration with the Flossmoor Public Library, we’ve developed this reading and film list, which covers the struggle for freedom and the post-Civil War era, as well as other aspects of the African-American experience.

Homewood-Flossmoor Juneteenth Festival & Parade by You Matter 2, Inc.

Recommended Reading for the Juneteenth Holiday

Summaries for each entry on this list can be found at the library catalog: catalog.swanlibraries.net.


The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States by Ira Berlin. 326.8 BER

The Thin Light of Freedom: the Civil War and Emancipation in the Heart of America  by Edward Ayers. 973.73 AYE

Freedom National: The Destruction of Slavery in the United States, 1861-1865 by James Oakes

Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction by Eric Foner.

Free at Last: A Documentary History of Slavery, Freedom, and the Civil War by Ira Berlin. 973.0496 FRE

We Ain’t What We Ought To Be : The Black Freedom Struggle From Emancipation to Obama by Stephen G.N. Tuck. 323.1196 TUC

Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston. 306.362 HUR

The Battle of Negro Fort: The Rise & Fall of a Fugitive Slave Community by Matthew J. Clavin. 973.51 CLA

50 Black Women Who Changed America, by Amy Alexander. BIO ALEXANDER

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. 304.8089 WIL

Black Boy: A Record of Childhood and Youth by Richard Wright. BIO WRIGHT

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. 364.973 ALE

Motherhood So White by Nefertiti Austin. 305.4889 AUS

Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson. 345.05 STE

When They Call You a Terrorist by Patrisse Khan and Asha Bandele. 323.092 KHA


The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates. FIC COA

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate. FIC WIN

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. FIC ELL

Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison. FIC ELL

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. FIC BAL

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. FIC MOR



Roots, the 30th Anniversary Edition DVD TV ROOT


Slavery by Another Name DVD NON-FIC SLAV

Slavery and the Making of America DVD NON-FIC SLAV

Eyes on the Prize DVD NON-FIC EYES



Abraham Lincoln, The Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment by B.J. Best.                J 973.714 BES

Juneteenth by Natalie M. Rosinsky. J 394.263 ROS

Juneteenth by R.J. Bailey. E 394.263 BAI

All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson. E JOH

Juneteenth Jamboree by Carole Boston Weatherford. E WEA

Juneteeth For Mazie by Floyd Cooper. E COO