Learn about and celebrate Juneteenth

Red, black and green of the Pan-African flag, with the word Juneteenth in yellow letters. A fist is held up in solidarity.

Juneteenth, celebrated annually in the United States on June 19, commemorates freedom and resistance. Learn more about Juneteenth and explore the history and legacies of slavery, segregation, and ongoing anti-Black racism in Canada and the United States.

Visit our display

Drop by Belzberg Library at SFU Vancouver campus to check out our book display throughout June.

Origins of Juneteenth celebrations

Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced that enslaved people were free. In the years that followed, Juneteenth became an important cultural and political holiday for Black Americans, celebrating freedom and resistance.

Learn more

Read about Juneteenth and its enduring legacy from historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Watch Danielle Young break down why Juneteenth is an important holiday in this 3 minute video.

Explore histories and legacies of anti-Black racism

Learn about slavery, segregation, and discrimination and the ways that each continues to shape our culture and institutions today, including in Canada.

Read Natasha L. Henry's article Black Enslavement in Canada in the Canadian Encyclopedia for an overview of the history of slavery, resistance, and abolition in Canada.

Read books and ebooks

Watch online

Streaming films on Black communities and history in Canada

Black communities in Canada playlist
This playlist from Canada's National Film Board (NFB) features films that showcase Black communities and lives. For films in the playlist that are in the locked Campus collection, search for the titles through our NFB subscription.

Black hands: Trial of the arsonist slave (Films on Demand)
A documentary about Marie-Josèphe Angélique, slavery, and crime in Montreal in the 1700s.

The skin we're in (Films on Demand)
Journalist and activist Desmond Cole unearths Black Canadian stories and examines anti-Black racism in Canada.

Explore the Library's collections

Historical documents and resources on slavery, abolition, and Black history

Slavery, Abolition and Social Justice, 1490 - 2007
Historical documents on transatlantic slavery, abolition, and social justice, as well as scholarly essays and other materials.

Slavery and Anti-Slavery
Books, manuscripts, supreme court records, biographies, and more on the transatlantic slave trade, the global movement for the abolition of slavery, the legal, personal, and economic aspects of the slavery system, and the dynamics of emancipation in the US, as well as in other regions.

Black Thought and Culture
Monographs, speeches, essays, and interviews written by leaders from the Black community in the US.

Beyond the Library

The Vancouver non-profit organization Hogan's Alley Society is "committed to daylighting the presence of Black history in Vancouver and throughout British Columbia."

Explore the resources from the BC Black History Awareness Society (BCBHAS), and the online exhibit on B.C.'s Black pioneers.

June 19