Today is Juneteenth, recognized by many throughout the Global Majority as its true Independence Day. June 19, 1865, is the date that enslaved people in Texas found out they were free–two and half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law, freeing those held in bondage in America. It is a celebration, but also a bittersweet reminder that freedom is a pursuit that must never stop.
This list includes Juneteenth, Ralph Ellison’s last book,published after his death, a book to free your soul by Iyanla Vanzant. There’s a Suze Orman book to help liberate you financially and Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Underground Railroad, which is a chilling and twisted take on the institution of slavery.
Juneteenth by Ralph Ellison
This novel was “written” after the death of Ralph Ellison by an editor who put it together from more than 3,000 pages of notes. Ellison is best known for the classic Invisible Man, a magical metaphorical look at being black in America. Juneteenth follows the journey of Bliss Sunraider, a white orphan raised and groomed by a black preacher. He goes on to become a great orator and politician, but never looks out for nor acknowledges the community that made him. The Juneteenth celebration annual summer celebration is one of the characters in this book.