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'On Juneteenth' With Historian Annette Gordon-Reed

Two women and a man in a decorated carriage. Photograph by George McCuistion of Juneteenth celebrations in in Corpus Christi, Texas, 1913.

Although Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Civil War  prevented it being enacted in much of the South. Emancipation Day, now known as Juneteenth, commemorates June 19, 1865, when around 250,000 enslaved people were declared free in Texas. NHPR's Peter Biello talks with historian Annette Gordon-Reed, whose book, On Juneteenth, gives a view of the country’s road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and episodes from her life growing up in Texas. In 1965, she was the first child to integrate her town’s all-white schools. Juneteenth became a N.H. state holiday in 2019.

Airdate: Tuesday, June 15, 2021


  • Annette Gordon-Reed - author of On Juneteenth. She is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. A historian and legal scholar, her work has reframed the historical dialogue about slavery and enslaved peoples in the United States by enhancing America’s understanding of race in the Colonial era. 
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