In time for the three-day holiday weekend, A Kids Book About Juneteenth is available for your child’s reading pleasantries. Written by Garrison Hayes and edited by Jelani Memory for company A Kids Co., the 66-page book explores the history of Juneteenth along with its preservation in recent times.
Juneteenth, which became a national holiday in 2021, is commemorated on June 19 yearly, marking the aftermath of the Civil War in 1865 when enslaved people were declared free under the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation. The holiday, also known as Emancipation Day, Jubilee Day and Freedom Day, was first celebrated in Galveston, Texas.
“The [importance] of talking to kids about the full history of America can’t be overstated. We have to ask ourselves, if we aren’t teaching the actual history of America, what are we teaching them?” Memory, also the founder of A Kids Co., told Okayplayer. “ We laugh at other countries that teach propaganda about their leaders and the origins of the country, yet we’re still teaching the same lessons about Columbus, the Civil War, and George Washington chopping down a cherry tree. There is an inherent fear among [American] parents that if you teach your kid what actually happened they might have a diminished view of America or themselves.”
“America loves to tell the story about itself that once it solves a problem, it’s solved forever,” Memory continued. “That wasn’t the case with Juneteenth, nor was it the case with the Civil Rights Movement, nor was it the case with George Floyd’s murder and the protests that followed.”
Both as a book of celebration and resistance, A Kids Book About Juneteenth is designated for young readers 5-years-old and up.