Juneteenth Listening

Written by Francisca Goldsmith on Thursday, June 14, 2018


The Juneteenth holiday is just the right time for the pair of audiobooks we offer this week. The last day to download the pair is Juneteenth itself, so you have seven days to be sure you have them, and even have time to get some listening done to give the date more meaning in your own life. The occasion of Juneteenth, dating from 1865, is a good time to celebrate both freedom and equal rights.


From Scholastic Audio, Dion Graham’s Earphones Award winning performance of MY NAME IS NOT FRIDAY, by Jon Walter, is accurate historical fiction featuring a freeborn black youth sold into slavery at the end of the American Civil War. With his name changed by his supposed owner to Friday, Samuel works his way to freedom, and then is captured again. Graham provides Samuel with a voice that remains unique even as would-be owners try to suppress his humanity. 

Paired with this is a second historical fiction award-winner. From Candlewick on Brilliance Publishing is Gigi Amateau’s COME AUGUST, COME FREEDOM, read here by JD Jackson. This fictional account of the childhood and youth of an actual historical figure offers a compelling listen whether you are already familiar with the rebellion led by Gabriel, a literate slave, in Virginia, in 1800, or this is your first encounter. Jackson brings Gabriel to life again from these pages, which include historical documents as well as the fictional account of the years before he led an effort to gain freedom for others as well as himself.

While your free audiobooks are downloading, read about Juneteenth's history, purpose, and ways you can share its observance this year on Wednesday, June 19. This observance deserves attention from all of us, and these audiobooks offer a perfect way to introduce its importance in history and relevance today.



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