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Juneteenth: Home

Newspapers and Periodicals

African American newspapers and journals are a rich source of information about daily life and culture in Black communities, especially for the period before the Internet and other forms of mass media provided local and national news coverage.

  • Proquest Black Studies: includes extensive historical coverage of select African American newspapers such as the Chicago Defender, New York Amsterdam News and Pittsburgh Courier.
  • Ethnic NewsWatch: Broad coverage of regional ethnic newspapers starting in the 1970s and frequently extending to the present.
  • Black Studies Periodicals: Thirty years of academic and popular periodicals oriented towards African Americans

Oral Histories

Oral histories record the memories and insights of individuals talking about ther lives, often in a very informal manner. By perusing the scope of an oral history archive that transverses many members of a single group, ethnic or otherwise, one can gain insight to the role of events and traditions in the lived experiences of members of the group.   

One such archive available to members of the Penn community is The HistoryMakers archive of nearly 3000 interviews of African Americans including 96 in which people discuss Juneteenth in their own lives.

Check it out

Juneteenth Fact Sheet: CRS report

This document from the Libraries' government document collection provides a brief overview of Juneteenth along with links to Congressional and Presidential speeches, historical documents, and futher information

Special Collections

The Penn Libraries hold collections that are uniquely valuable because of their rarity or distinctive representation of an event, time, or group. Notable among these for their coverage of Juneteenth and African American culture more generally are the Joanna Banks Collection and the Libraries' culinary collections. These items can only be used in the Reading Room on the sixth floor of Van Pelt Library.

  • The Joanna Banks Collection of African American Literature includes over 10,000 published works, primarily from the 1970s to the present. Particular strengths include women's writing, children's literature, cookery, and African American periodicals.  Selections from the collection directly related to Juneteenth are listed here. Material more generally about African American emancipation and celebrations are listed here.
  • The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts has assembled an outstanding and varied collection of special materials on culinary arts and food studies in general acquired through purchases and generous gifts and donations. Selections from the collection directly related to Juneteenth are listed here. Material more generally about African American emancipation and celebrations are listed here
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