Celebrate Juneteenth with Talking Books

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The South Carolina State Library Talking Book Services (TBS) is proud to share resources related to Juneteenth!  June 19th is recognized as the day that the practices of the transatlantic slave trade in the United States became illegal in 1865.  The below titles, available for all ages, focus on commemorating one of the highest of American ideals, values, and freedom. They explain the origins of this observance and provide a solid background for gathering more information on the history and evolution of African-Americans in the modern era following this defining moment in world history.

Feel free to contact any of the TBS Reader Advisors for more suggestions related to this holiday or other titles that delve further into the experiences of American citizens and residents of African descent.

Juneteenth: a novel DB48438

Ellison, Ralph; Callahan, John F. Reading time: 13 hours, 55 minutes.

Read by Bob Moore. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.



Senator Sunraider lies in the hospital struggling to survive a gunshot wound. The apparently white politician asks to see Reverend Hickman, the African American minister who raised him. In the course of their conversations, the senator recalls his childhood and begins to understand his own complex racial identity. Some strong language. Bestseller.


Freedom's gifts: a Juneteenth story DBC04831

Wesley, Valerie Wilson. Reading time: 25 minutes.

Read by Ruby Davis. A production of Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Talking Book Program.

Historical Fiction

When a girl from New York visits her cousin in Texas in 1943, she learns the origin of Juneteenth, a holiday marking the day in 1865 that Texan slaves realized they were free. Aunt Marshall, who was a child during slavery, tells stories to the little girls of what she remembers. For grades 3-6.


Juneteenth DBC10089

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux; Nelson, Drew; Mangalmurti, Daevan; Walsh, Piper. Reading time: 17 minutes.

Read by Piper Walsh. A production of Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

U.S. History

Learn about how freedom came to the slaves in June, 1865. Join in the celebration of this holiday that honors the freedom of all people. 2006. For grades 2-4.


Osceola: memories of a sharecropper's daughter DB50524

Mays, Osceola; Govenar, Alan B. Reading time: 56 minutes.

Read by Tracy Mickens-Hundley. A production of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress.


History, Juvenile

A woman in her nineties recounts experiences from her East Texas childhood in the early twentieth century. She recalls her fear of white people, her grandmother's stories about slavery, and how her family celebrated Juneteenth--the day the slaves in Texas were told about their freedom. For grades 3-6. 2000.