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Cleveland Public Library’s Juneteenth Reading Recommendations

Angela Kervorkian-Wattle

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CLEVELAND — In celebration of Juneteenth, Cleveland Public Library has shared its selection of essential books to learn about the history of Juneteenth.

Here are some recommendations from the Cleveland Public Library:

1. Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore by Abernethy, Edward

Juneteenth Texas explores African-American culture by taking the reader through folkways and traditions from both African-American and white perspectives. The book describes and classifies the varying aspects of African-American folk culture in Texas, exploring songs and stories and iconic performers such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Manse Lipscomb, and Bongo Joe. The book also provides a list of resources for further study of African-Americans in Texas.

2. San Antonio on Parade: Six Historic Festivals by Judith Berg-Sobré

San Antonio on Parade takes its readers through a fascinating look at nineteenth-century festivals in San Antonio. Judith Berg Sobré provides an art historian’s unique perspective to accounts of the pageantry, parades, and festive events that typified a city welcoming settlers from several nations.

3. Dog ghosts, and other Texas Negro folk tales by John Mason Brewer

Dog Ghosts contains two volumes of African American folk tales collected by J. Mason Brewer. Among them are stories that have their roots deeply embedded in African, Irish, and Welsh mythology; others have parallels in the pre-Columbian Mexican tradition. A few have versions that can be traced back to Chaucer’s England.

4. Emancipation Proclamation: ‘“Forever Free” by Kevin McGruder

Emancipation Proclamation chronicles black and white Americans, enslaved and free, who paved the way towards emancipation. The book tells the story of those who resisted slavery and triumphed.

5. Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to Invisible Man by Lucas E. Morel

The book is a new collection of original essays that examine how Ellison’s landmark novel, Invisible Man (1952), addresses the social, cultural, political, economic, and racial contradictions of America.

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