Celebrate Juneteenth throughout June with virtual and onsite programming with the Lewis Museum and its community partners. More details to come.
Annette Gordon-Reed will be in virtual conversation with Lawrence Jackson about her new book, On Juneteenth. In partnership with the Enoch Pratt Library.
In ON JUNETEENTH, Gordon-Reed combines her own scholarship with a personal and intimate reflection of an overlooked holiday that has suddenly taken on new significance in a post-George Floyd world. As Gordon-Reed writes, “It is staggering that there is no date commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.” Yet, Texas—the last state to free its slaves—has long acknowledged the moment on June 19, 1865, when US Major General Gordon Granger proclaimed from his headquarters in Galveston that slavery was no longer the law of the land.
ON JUNETEENTH takes us beyond the stories of Gordon-Reed’s childhood, providing a Texan’s view of the long, non-traditional road to a national recognition of the holiday. Gordon-Reed presents the saga of a frontier defined as much by the slave plantation owner as the mythic cowboy, rancher, or oilman. Reworking the “Alamo” narrative, she shows that enslaved Blacks—in addition to Native Americans, Anglos, and Tejanos—formed the state’s makeup from the 1500s, well before Africans arrived in Jamestown. A commemoration of Juneteenth and the fraught legacies of slavery that still persist, On Juneteenth is a stark reminder that the fight for equality is ongoing.
Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. Author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family, she lives in New York and Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Lawrence Jackson is a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of English and History at Johns Hopkins University. He has written a memoir on race and family history called My Father’s Name: A Black Virginia Family after the Civil War.
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