Juneteenth and Anti-Racism Book List

June 3, 2022

The following reading list of books – about and for Juneteenth – was compiled by Zenith Bookstore. Some of these titles might be excellent choices for gifts, employee appreciation giveaways, book club, and/or seminars. Zenith Bookstore’s business-to-business program offers excellent service and competitive discounts for volume purchases. For information, email books@zenithbookstore.com.

Click on the book cover to read more.

Books About and For Juneteenth

On Juneteenth - Book Cover

On Juneteenth by Annette Gordon-Reid

A Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Texas native tells the store of Juneteenth. Combines history, family chronicle and personal anecdotes. Excellent and hard-hitting read.

The Underground Railroad - Book Cover

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This 2016 Putlizer Prize-winning novel reimagines the real-life Underground Railroad which saved so many Americans from slavery.

Young Adult

Stamped - Book Cover

Stamped: Racism, Anti-Racism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

Ages 12+. “An amazingly timely and stunningly accessible manifesto for young people…. At times funny, at times somber but always packed with relevant information that is at once thoughtful and spot-on, Stamped is the book I wish I had as a young person and am so grateful my own children have now.”— Jacqueline Woodson, bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Brown Girl Dreaming

Children & Young Readers

What is Juneteenth - Book Cover

What is Juneteenth? by Kirsti Jewel

Ages 8-12. One of the newest books in the popular What Was? series for Young Readers. Chronicles Juneteenth history, with 80 black-and-white illustrations.

Childs Introduction to African American History - Book Cover

A Child’s Introduction to African-American History by Jabari Asim

Ages 8-12. A comprehensive, entertaining look at heroes, heroines, and critical moments from African American history — from the slave trade to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Juneteenth for Mazie - Book Cover

Juneteenth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Ages 6-9 Children’s Picture Book. Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history. The day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth.

Opal Lee Book Cover

Opal Lee and What It Means to be Free: The True Story of the Grandmother of Juneteenth by Alice Faye Duncan

Ages 4-8. Black activist Opal Lee had a vision of Juneteenth as a holiday for everyone. This true story celebrates Black joy and inspires children to see their dreams blossom. Growing up in Texas, Opal knew the history of Juneteenth, but she soon discovered that many Americans had never heard of the holiday. Join Opal on her historic journey to recognize and celebrate “freedom for all.”

Juneteenth - Book Cover

Juneteenth: Our Day of Freedom by Sharon Dennis Wyeth

Ages 4-8. A “Step 3” Beginning Reader. Some call it Freedom Day; some call it Emancipation Day; some call it Juneteenth. Learn more about this important holiday that celebrates the end of chattel slavery in the U.S.

Anti-Racism, Black History

How the word is passes - Book cover

How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America by Clint Smith

This compelling #1 New York Times bestseller examines the legacy of slavery in America —and how both history and memory continue to shape our everyday lives. Named a “best book” of 2021.

The warmth of other suns book cover

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

In this beautifully written masterwork, the Pulitzer Prize-winnner and bestselling author of Caste chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of Black citizens who fled the Jim Crow South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

Caste - Book Cover

Caste by Isabel Wilkerson

In this brilliant book, Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings. Recipient of numerous awards and named #1 best non-fiction book of the year.

The new jim crow - Book cover

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

This book will change you! Since it was first published in 2010, Alexander’s work has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads. Spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. A remarkable read.

James Baldwin - The Fire Next Time cover

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

A national bestseller when it first appeared in 1963, The Fire Next Time galvanized the nation, gave passionate voice to the emerging civil rights movement—and still lights the way to understanding race in America today. A powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. A literary classic.

Commitment to Change is a collaborative effort between Lake Superior College and the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce to build a more inclusive and diverse community through education, resources, opportunities, and partnerships. This robust Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resource guide has been curated from experts across the Twin Ports to share with your organizations in honor of Juneteenth.


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