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This guide provides an overview of the Juneteenth holiday, its history and significance, and resources useful in researching it.

What is Juneteenth?

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19th, marks the end of slavery in the United States.



On June 17th, 2021 Juneteenth became an official federal holiday. A resolution to this effect passed the US Senate and the US House, and was signed into law by President Joe Biden.

Freely Available

"Juneteenth" (Wikipedia) 

"What is Juneteenth," by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS) 

"The Importance of Juneteenth;," interview with Keith Green, alum / professor of Africana Studies and English at Rutgers University Camden, by Christina Hernandez Sherwood, for the Rutgers University Alumni Association, June 7, 2021

Selected Rutgers Reference Sources (must be accessed on site or off site with a RU netid)

"Juneteenth," Cultural Studies; Holidays Around the World, 2018 

"Juneteenth," Encyclopedia of African American Popular Culture, 2011 


Search Tips

Juneteenth is also the title of a novel by Ralph Ellison. Researchers looking for information on Juneteenth as a historical / cultural event might want to search subject specific databases to avoid sorting through books and articles on the novel. There are subject listings on the LIbraries' database page. Some suggested databases are:

America: History & Life

Sociological Abstracts

ERIC (Education)

Business Source Premier


The Libraries have a number of newspaper databases, both individual titles like the New York Times, and collections, such as African American Newspapers. The Chicago Defender was an important news source for the African American community, and Ethnic Newswatch is a good index to a variety of ethnic publications.


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