Juneteenth: Guest Post from Ambreia Meadows-Fernandez

Laramie County Library System will be celebrating Juneteenth at Martin Luther King Jr. Park

Laramie County Library System is partnering with the NAACP 4108 Cheyenne Chapter to celebrate Juneteenth on Saturday, June 17 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 

The Bookmobile will be at the event to provide information on genealogy resources, library card sign-up, Summer Reading Challenge registration, and more! In celebration of Juneteenth, Ambreia Meadows-Fernandez, an award-winning local journalist and one of the upcoming event’s organizers, wrote a blog post about our nation’s newest federal holiday and provided some great recommendations for further reading on Black culture, identity, and history by Black authors. Enjoy Ambreia’s powerful insights and check out her reading recommendations today!

Guest Blog Post from Ambreia Meadows-Fernandez:

I was raised in Dallas, Texas, and grew up exclaiming “Happy Juneteenth!” to every loved one on June 19th at my grandfather’s lead. “Juneteenth” celebrates June 19th, 1865, the day 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, and informed the remaining 250,000 enslaved Americans that the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln meant they were free. The news was delayed by two and a half years. Still, it taught me our freedom was worth celebrating even though I hadn’t yet learned the pervasive and intentional nature of systemic racism.

In 2021, Juneteenth became a federal holiday. But now it’s a gift to everyone, offering an opportunity to celebrate the beauty of our community and look backward to go forward. There aren’t many places I feel rooted in this community. Book bans and challenges to accurate cultural records create barriers to representation for families like mine. As I search for connection, few places have been as transformative as the Laramie Country Library. The building isn’t just my home away from home, it’s a portal to Black history, education, and belonging. It’s always an excellent resource to learn about Black and countless other cultures comprising the beautiful quilt of Wyoming and the Mountain Western region.

Juneteenth is as much about the future and a hope for healed and healthy Black communities as it is about a journey of resistance amidst struggle. This Juneteenth, I’d like to share 20 books about Black culture and identity, and healing written by Black authors that benefit everyone.

Don’t forget to join us for an NAACP Sponsored Juneteenth celebration at MLK Park on June 17th! The Bookmobile will be there. We hope you will too!!!

1.      Bartlett’s Familiar Black quotations
2.      The sugar jar: create boundaries, embrace self-healing, and enjoy the sweet things in life
3.      We are here
4.      Opal Lee and what it means to be free : the true story of the grandmother of Juneteenth
5.      I’ve been here all the while: Black freedom on native land
6.      A call to conscience: the landmark speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
7.      Requiem for the massacre: a Black history on the conflict, hope, and fallout of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
8.      African Americans on the western frontier
9.      Make good the promises: reclaiming Reconstruction and its legacies
10.   Marley and the family band
11.   Box: Henry Brown mails himself to freedom
12.   Soul food Sunday
13.   I, too, am America
14.   For beautiful Black boys who believe in a better world
15.   I am every good thing
16.   Free at last: a Juneteenth poem
17.   The selected works of Audre Lorde
18.   How we fight for our lives: a memoir
19.   The fire this time: a new generation speaks about race
20.   A Black women’s history of the United States

Full list available here: https://lcls.wyldcatalog.org/MyAccount/MyList/5926