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2021 Teen Reading Challenge: Juneteenth

Posted about 3 years ago by Jennifer Deuell

Welcome back to month six of the 2021 RPL Teen Reading Challenge. How’s it been going to far? I don’t know about you, but historically this is about the time that I start falling behind in a challenge, reading or otherwise. And, that is definitely true for this one. Never fear! We are only halfway through June, and there is still time to get your prompt read this month. To help you find just the right read, I’ve curated a list of fantastic books and resources.

This month’s reading prompt is to read something about Juneteenth or the legacy of slavery in the United States. I struggled with the wording on this one when I was putting the challenge together. To me, the word legacy tends to make me think of something positive. But we all know there is nothing positive that can be said about slavery or the far-reaching repercussions it has had on Black Americans. However, Oxford’s dictionary defines legacy as “a thing handed down by a predecessor,” and I think this accurately describes this situation. Nevertheless, one positive outcome in recent years is that there have been an abundance of wonderful works published about this topic. So many, in fact, that I could never name them all in one blog post. But, I will bring a few of my favorites to your attention.




If you’re looking for a shorter read or want to find out more about Juneteenth celebrations in RVA, check out these sites!

  • If you’d like a super brief overview of Juneteenth, check out this Teen Vogue article.
  • For a more in-depth look at the historical legacy of Juneteenth, visit The National Museum of African American History and Culture‘s website.
  • If you’d like to read about why activists are pushing to make Juneteenth a national holiday, read this Time magazine article.
  • Henrico County, VA is also hosting a Juneteenth Celebration this Saturday, June 19th.  Visit their website for more info.
  • Elegba Folklore Society in RVA is holding a Juneteenth Freedom Festival on Sunday, June 27th. Get all the details here.
  • For information about Juneteenth events across the state, visit the Pressroom website.
  • And, finally, read our Shelf Respect blog post from 2020 all about Juneteenth.

I hope one of the resources I mentioned in this list will peak your interest and get you reading about Juneteenth and Black History this month…and every month! If you are a teen, you can join the conversation taking place on our Discord server. We have a designated channel for readers to chat all month.  Not a member of the server yet?  Fill out this form and we’ll send you an invite.  Also, feel free to tag us on social media and share what you’re reading #2021rplteenreadingchallenge

Happy reading!

To visit (or revisit) my previous posts on the 2021 RPL Reading Challenge, follow these links:

The original post with info on how the challenge works.

Prompt 1 – Immigration in the U.S.

Prompt 2 – Teen Activism

Prompt 3 – Body Positivity

Prompt 4 – Protecting Our Environment

Prompt 5 – Shared Talents

Check back next month for suggestions to fulfill Prompt 7, “Something that will make you laugh!”












Jennifer Deuell

Jenn Deuell is a Librarian with Richmond Public Library. She is a native of Fredericksburg, VA but has lived in Richmond for long enough that she now considers it home. She loves all things YA and can usually be found curled up at home with a good book (rainy day or not). Her other hobbies include traveling and spending time with family, including her husband, daughter Hannah, and two rescued pit bulls. For YA reading recommendations from Jenn, visit Bookologist.

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