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Black History Month Library Guide

In honor of Black History Month this Research Guide will show what is available at the San Diego Mesa College library and other community resources. People of all backgrounds and colors can learn from the content in this guide.

History of Juneteenth

All across the United States, and beyond, celebrations commemorate this historical event of 1865 in Galveston, Texas.  There, on June 19th, when word of the emancipation proclamation finally reached the enslaved, a new and uncertain way of life began.  Today, more than 156 years since, African Americans have elevated this celebration, publicly and privately to one of the most important of the year.

Juneteenth celebrates freedom for all, worldwide.  Juneteenth promotes unity and builds self-esteem through reflection, education, and acknowledgment of achievements.  This event encourages people of all races, nationalities, and ethnicities to join together to support and participate in Juneteenth celebrations - a true testament to humanity. Juneteenth serves symbolically, and in reality, as a reference point from which to measure and appreciate the progress and contributions made by African Americans to this society. Read More

Juneteenth Online Resources


Learn more about Juneteenth Celebration

Speech delivered by Frederick Douglass on July 5, 1852.

eBook version of this writing by Harriet A. Jacobs.

"This Special Presentation of the Library of Congress exhibition, The African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases the Library's incomparable African-American collections."


              Roots narrate why Juneteenth is important.

A web project combining the efforts of several cultural institutions across the United States using "...educational content, artistic performances, and shareable discussion prompts, [to] explore the meaning and relevance of “freedom”, “justice” and “democracy” in Black American life, from a historical and contemporary framework."

A collection of newsreels produced by William D. Alexander, Claude Barnett, and other African American filmmakers under the auspices of the U.S. Government's Office of War Information.

A series of interviews that trace the civil rights movement from the Montgomery bus boycott in 1954 to the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Streaming video with a duration of 58:42.

Black Journal, episode 32 (first broadcast: 1971-04-26). 61 minutes.

A list of TED Talk videos and articles centering on the topic of slavery.

Learn more about Juneteenth Viewing

Oscar Micheaux's 1919 motion picture depicting the reality of racism as a response to D.W. Griffith's "The Birth of a Nation" (which was a fictional motion picture depicting the need for the Ku Klux Klan in the south). 80 minutes.


NPR's Fresh Air, June 5, 2020. 33 minutes.

TEDx SHORTS, June 8, 2020. 10 minutes.

DID YOU KNOW? Juneteenth Fun Facts


  • Did you know that Juneteenth Is Now A Federal Holiday!. The US will now officially recognize Juneteenth. President Joe Biden signed a bill passed by the Senate and House, June 15th and 16th respectively - with no opposing vote in the Senate and only minor Republican dissent in the House.

  • In 2017, the TV comedy hit "Black-ish" featured musician Aloe Blacc (who played himself) who was enlisted to write a Juneteenth song to helped popularize the holiday.

  • Although "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is the official anthem of Juneteenth, other popular songs appearing on Juneteenth music playlists include Billy Holiday's "God Bless The Child", Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come," and The Staple Singers' "Freedom Highway".

  • Juneteenth is also known throughout the country as Independence Day, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day.

  • Did you know that “red” food is a significant part of celebrating Juneteenth? Red not only represents the blood of the slaves that were shed but most importantly represents their RESILIENCE. Koala Nuts and Hibiscus were two red food items that would survive the slave trades. Many Black families celebrate Juneteenth by including these items on their dinner tables.