Leader: Claire Wolnisty
Book: On Juneteenth
Author: Annette Gordon-Reed
Description: “Weaving together American history, dramatic family chronicle, and searing episodes of memoir, Annette Gordon-Reed’s On Juneteenth provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed—herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s—forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state, with implications for us all. https://wwnorton.com/books/9781631498831/about-the-book/description
Information from the Group Leader: Dr. Annette Gordon-Reed traces the importance of Juneteenth in United States history in this 152-page book. She highlights African American history in Texas through her personal and familial memoirs of growing up in a segregated Texas town, reflections on the importance of local memory and citizenship, and advice for readers on how to reckon with histories of racial violence and discrimination. This book combines local history, sociological studies, and personal reflection in ways that I think will connect to many members of our faculty who are thinking about their own positionalities as humans living in the state of Texas and teachers trying to be inclusive of our students.