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South Pasadena News and Updates

Juneteenth, or June 19th, is the perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with the holiday established to commemorate the ending of slavery in America. On June 19th, 1865, Union General Gordon Granger led troops into Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Lincoln two and a half years prior. Many theories have circulated to explain the over two year delay in the emancipation of Texan slaves after Lincoln’s Executive Order. According to, one story holds that the first messenger to deliver the news of freedom was murdered, while another story states that the news was deliberately withheld by slaveowners in the interest of maintaining a free labor force. 

In celebration of Juneteenth, the South Pasadena Public Library is highlighting some resources from the Library of Congress as well as our own collections. For those interested in conducting research on the topic of American slavery, the Library of Congress has compiled an outstanding online research guide. We also recommend their rare audio interviews with former slaves, titled Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories. For those interested in print books, SPPL has several titles relevant to Juneteenth and narratives of slavery in America. Customers can use Library Takeout, a no-contact check-out/pick-up service to access library materials. For those who prefer ebooks, browse the Overdrive collections curated by the Library to explore the Black Lives Matter Movement for adults and teens.

Picture Books

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

Juvenile Fiction

Come Juneteenth by Ann Rinaldi 

Juvenile Nonfiction

Free at Last!: Stories and Songs of Emancipation by Doreen Rappaport and Shane W. Evans

Juneteenth by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson and Drew Nelson

Adult Nonfiction

100 Amazing Facts About the Negro by Henry Louis Gates Jr. 

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave by Frederick Douglass

The Strange Career of William Ellis: the Texas Slave Who Became a Mexican Millionaire by Karl Jacoby

They Were Her Property: White Women as Slave Owners in the American South by Stephanie E. Jones-Rogers

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Cathy Billings
Library Director


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