Books for Juneteenth

By Coll Rowe | June 7 2024 | HistoryLiteratureSociology

Juneteenth, which is recognized on June 19th each year, celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. We are highlighting books from Black writers that provide insight into the rich complexity of the Black experience through history, memoir, literature, and poetry.

Find our full collection of Juneteenth titles here.

The 1619 Project
A New Origin Story

Winner of the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Nonfiction • Finalist for the Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction • The New York Times Magazine’s award-winning “1619 Project” issue reframed our understanding of American history by placing slavery and its continuing legacy at the center of our national narrative. This new book substantially expands on that work, weaving together essays, poems, and works of fiction that illuminate key moments of oppression, struggle, and resistance.

$25.00 US
Jun 04, 2024
624 Pages
One World

Twelve Years a Slave

Perhaps the best written of all the slave narratives, Twelve Years a Slave is a harrowing memoir about one of the darkest periods in American history. It recounts how Solomon Northup, born a free man in New York, was lured to Washington, D.C., in 1841 with the promise of fast money, then drugged and beaten and sold into slavery. He spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity on a Louisiana cotton plantation.

$18.00 US
Jul 31, 2012
304 Pages
Penguin Classics

My Face Is Black Is True
Callie House and the Struggle for Ex-Slave Reparations

In her groundbreaking book, My Face Is Black Is True, historian Mary Frances Berry resurrects the forgotten life of Callie House (1861–1928), a once enslaved person, widowed Nashville washerwoman and mother of five who, seventy years before the civil rights movement, headed a demand for reparations.

$16.95 US
Oct 10, 2006
336 Pages

The Price for Their Pound of Flesh
The Value of the Enslaved, from Womb to Grave, in the Building of a Nation
A groundbreaking look at slaves as commodities through every phase of life, from birth to death and beyond, in early America.
$18.95 US
Dec 26, 2017
280 Pages
Beacon Press

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave
An updated edition of a classic African American autobiography, with new supplementary materials.
$14.00 US
Jan 28, 2014
224 Pages
Penguin Classics

Black Women Taught Us
An Intimate History of Black Feminism

Across 11 original essays that explore the legacy of Black women writers and leaders—from Harriet Jacobs and Ida B. Wells to the Combahee River Collective and Audre Lorde—Jackson sets the record straight about Black women’s longtime movement organizing, theorizing, and coalition building in the name of racial, gender, and sexual justice in the United States and abroad.

$30.00 US
Jan 23, 2024
368 Pages
Random House

Juneteenth (Revised)

Juneteenth is a brilliantly crafted, moving, and wise novel. This edition includes a new introduction by National Book Award-winning author Charles R. Johnson.

$17.00 US
May 18, 2021
416 Pages

African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song (LOA #333)
A Library of America Anthology
A literary landmark: the biggest, most ambitious anthology of black poetry ever published, gathering 250 poets from the colonial period to the present
$45.00 US
Oct 20, 2020
1170 Pages
Library of America

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Written by Herself
One of the central firsthand accounts of slavery in America
$15.00 US
Jul 01, 2000
320 Pages
Penguin Classics

The Black Period
On Personhood, Race, and Origin

Winner of the PEN Open Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award for LGBTQ+ Nonfiction • The Black Period disrupts the myths of America’s origins through Hafizah Augustus Geter’s experiences as the queer Nigerian-born daughter of a Muslim Nigerian woman and a Black American man from a Southern Baptist family in Jim Crow Alabama.

$20.00 US
Sep 26, 2023
448 Pages
Random House Trade Paperbacks

Harriet Tubman
Imagining a Life
From the award-winning novelist and biographer Beverly Lowry comes an astonishing re-imagining of the remarkable life of Harriet Tubman.
$18.95 US
Jun 10, 2008
432 Pages

A Black Women's History of the United States
A vibrant and empowering history that emphasizes the perspectives and stories of African American women to show how they are—and have always been—instrumental in shaping our country
$17.00 US
Mar 16, 2021
296 Pages
Beacon Press