Juneteenth Isn't New, But Is Barely Found In Textbooks. People Say That Needs To Change
June 19 is widely celebrated as "Juneteenth" – a holiday marking the emancipation of all slaves.
But not everyone is familiar with it, and more people are calling for that to change.
If you never learned about Juneteenth in school, you're not alone. Mariah Pol is a history and social studies teacher from Michigan City. She says many textbooks just briefly mention it – or don't cover it at all.
"It's not specifically like, stated there, and there's not a standard that says specifically teach about Juneteenth," she says.
Recent protests against systemic racism and police brutality are prompting more people to call for changes to what's taught in schools, to focus more on the experiences and perspectives of communities of color – specifically Black Americans.
A group of alumni shared a letter this week, calling for anti-racism education in West Lafayette schools, and an Indianapolis-based education blog calls for revising school curriculum to include Juneteenth specifically.
Here are additional resources shared by teachers to learn more about Black history in America:
- Fords' Theatre - Lessons on Lincoln's Legacy regarding Emancipation
- Smithsonian African Art Musuem
- Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Frederick Douglass Education Resources through PBS
- Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History - African American History Primary Sources and Guided Readings for Classroom
- Music Rising at Tulane - Lesson Plans related to African American History in New Orleans
- Classroom Lesson Plans and resources from PBS series "The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross"
- Abolition and the Civil War in Indiana resources from Indiana Historical Society
- Madam C.J. Walker Education Resources
- Stanford History Education Group Teaching Like A Historian Lessons on Slavery