Since June 19, 1865, when news of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1862, effective January 1, 1863, reached the slaveholding state of Texas at the conclusion of the Civil War, June 19th, or Juneteenth, has been celebrated in various parts of the country to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States. Remnants of slavery lingered in some formerly Confederate states beyond the June 19th date, however, meaning those states did not officially abolish slavery within their jurisdiction until later. Sonoma County was not immune from the debates about slavery during that time, with vociferous proponents and opponents of slavery and the Confederacy in Petaluma, Santa Rosa and elsewhere.
In 2021 President Biden proclaimed June 19th, Juneteenth, a national holiday. Even before its official recognition, Juneteenth has long been celebrated by Black communities in the U.S. Beloved foster parent and faith leader Marteal Perry brought the celebration to Sonoma County from her hometown of Alta, Texas when she moved to Santa Rosa in 1953, hosting Juneteenth, or “Mother Perry’s Day,” for county residents at her South Wright Road property year after year.
In recognition of Juneteenth, Sonoma County Library is highlighting resources and events celebrating the holiday. This year we are specially featuring recommended readings and websites about some traditions (cooking, art, and storytelling) associated with Juneteenth. Our resources also include current reflections and conversations about Emancipation and what it means with respect to Black farming, land tenure and contemporary concerns about reparations.
- Joanna (Librarian), Vicki (Librarian), Kelly (Children's Librarian), Emily (Teen Librarian), Melissa (Librarian), Sabine (Branch Manager), and Brian (Librarian)
Books, Collections, And Resources:
Browse through eBooks and audiobooks selected for Juneteenth, now available in the Libby app! This guide will stay up all year and refreshes with new books as they are added.
Explore this multiformat list of hoopla offerings curated for Juneteenth. There are 50 items to choose from including audiobooks, graphic novels, music and movies.
Staff created book recommendation lists for Juneteenth:
Black farming, Foodways, and Cookbooks
Quilting and Fabric Arts
- Juneteenth - National Museum of African American History
"Juneteenth is a time to gather as a family, reflect on the past and look to the future. Discover ways to celebrate this African American cultural tradition of music, food and freedom."
- “Black in the Bay”
An Oakland Public Library blog
- KQED’s Reparations in California
On the task force to study reparations for Black Californians
- The Black Family: United by History, Restored by Storytelling
A toolkit to empower families to preserve their own histories
Central Santa Rosa Library will be tabling an event for the 52nd annual MLK/Juneteenth Community Festival on Saturday, June 18, 2022 from 10 am to 6 pm, at MLK Park in Santa Rosa. The library will be providing library card sign ups and have a small collection of books available for both check out and as giveaways. We will have flyers and pamphlets available that showcase the plethora of resources that Sonoma County Library has available, as well as giveaways for children, teens and adults. We will also be using SonomaFi Connect to provide free wi-fi to at least 50 individuals during the festival.
On Saturday, June 18, 2022, from 4 pm to 7pm, the Bibliobus, the mobile tech hub of the county library system will be at the Sonoma Juneteenth: Freedom Day event at the Sonoma Community Center in the city of Sonoma. Register for a library card and check out books and media related to Juneteenth, Emancipation, and the enormous, foundational influence of African Americans on the U.S. economy, its agriculture, foodways, cuisine, music, art, and culture. Record your reflections about Juneteenth in a Storycorps interview. For more about the day's events, click here.
Other Sonoma County Events
The Healdsburg Jazz Juneteenth Celebration in the Healdsburg Plaza - Sunday, June 19, 2022, 11am-4pm.