“The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”
This pronouncement on June 19th, 1865, delivered by Major General Gordon Granger in Galveston, Texas, is now celebrated as the official end of slavery. Juneteenth festivities at first declined in the 1900s, but have seen a resurgence in recent decades with increasing awareness of civil rights and Black history.
In honor of Juneteenth, we’d like to pay particular tribute to Rosa Parks, the heroic “first lady of civil rights” who, on December 13, 1955, stood up to a bus driver’s demand to give up her seat in the whites-only section. Parks went on to endure job firings and death threats, but worked alongside other luminaries in the movement including John Conyers and Martin Luther King Jr.
Rosa Parks Day is now observed in California and Missouri on her birthday, February 4, and in Ohio and Oregon on December 1, the anniversary of her courageous act defying segregation and her subsequent arrest.
We encourage everyone to read more on Rosa’s remarkable life, the Civil Rights Movement, anti-racism, and BIPOC authors. Although the last few weeks have seen us sell out of many titles in these subjects, we have a very special book we’d like to share:
Rosa Parks: My Story is Rosa’s own story. Our copy is a nice hardback first in a jacket that Rosa has signed and dated. This isn’t just a great book; it’s a major piece of history.
Here are some links to help you celebrate Juneteenth:
- Learn more about “The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth” from the National Museum of African American History & Culture
- Check out the Los Angeles Public Library’s curated list of Juneteenth books
- The LAPL also has a list of Juneteenth events
- Here is a map showing where/when upcoming “Defend Black Lives” events are happening
- The Black Cultural Events website has a list of more events to participate in, with many being virtual
- Here is State Senator Bob Hertzberg’s list of Black-owned businesses in the San Fernando Valley
Happy Juneteenth! #blm