Juneteenth takeaways

Yesterday, our nation celebrated Juneteenth — a federal holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people via an order issued by Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865. This order proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in the state of Texas.

For many, this holiday provides an opportunity for reflection. It can also be the catalyst for a recreational dive into some history and research.

In an interview with National Public Radio, “The Black Agenda” author Anna Gifty Opuku-Agyeman said that she believes “there needs to be an actual grappling with how racial injustice is still shaping the lives of Black Americans and Black folks in America by extension, today.”

As we’ve said before, understanding that vast web of impacts takes some time. We’re not all history professors or scholars; it’s never a bad thing to read research and history on our own, especially books or articles written by or about a broad spectrum of people.

So, in honor of continuing the spirit of Juneteenth past June 19, here are some books to read, as recommended by the New York Public Library and the National Museum of African American History and Culture:

“On Juneteenth” by Annette Gordon-Reed

“A Black Woman’s History of the United States” by Daina Berry and Kali Gross

“Four Hundred Souls,” a collection of stories edited by Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha Blain

“The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson

“More Beautiful and More Terrible” by Imani Perry.

For those who would prefer to explore the intersection of this national reflection and local history, we’d recommend a trip to Lake Placid’s John Brown Farm or the North Star Underground Railroad Museum at 1131 Mace Chasm Road, Ausable Chasm — admission is free, and it’s well-worth the trip. The museum is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays now through Oct. 14; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In July and August, the museum’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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