A wise man once said, “Students should not merely go through college but college should also go through them.”  His words resonate with me.   Students’ educational encounters should be empowering and should change the way they see themselves and their relationship to history and the world.  Exchanging ideas, from lecture hall to coffee shop, helps students find themselves in the educational process.  I encourage them to voice their own experiences, ideas, and opinions and relate them to their work.

Teaching @ the Atlanta History Center
Teaching at the Atlanta History Center

In class, my students and I often foreground the voices of women, people of color, and the underclasses.  By giving our global, communal, and individual mothers, brothers, grandparents and ancestors a central focus in our dialogue, we also give ourselves voice.  We learn that we make history both “on the ground” and in the academy.  History should not be imposed upon us.  I hope to nurture students’ ability to express themselves with confidence– to expand their ideas and perspectives about themselves, their histories, and their world.

EJ Academy Graduation 2019
Kenja (front row, center) at the 2019 Environmental Justice Academy graduation ceremony, Atlanta Metropolitan State College

Courses Taught

(online, face-to-face, hybrid, full-term, & accelerated formats)

  • Environmental Justice Academy (in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 4)
  • HIST 2111 – US History to 1865
  • HIST 2112 – US History Since 1865
  • HIST 2232 – African American History
  • HTS 3016 – Women & Gender in U.S.
  • HTS 3024 – African American History to 1865
  • HTS 3025 – African American History since 1865
  • HUMA 1102 – African American Culture
  • SOSC 2101 – Introduction to African American Studies
me with student
Kenja (right) co-hosted the Atlanta Oral History Roundtable at Atlanta Metro State College so her students could access such an event, which may have otherwise been closed to them.

#Juneteenth Syllabus

In case you missed the #BLKTwitterstorians Juneteenth KnowledgeDrop with @KRMcCray @blackherstorian #BLKTwitterstorians https://lnkd.in/emwRbqW

JuneteenthSyllabus Knowledgedrop

Scholarly Sources

Jeffries, Judson L. “Juneteenth, Black Texans and the Case of Reparations.” Negro Educational Review 55, no. 2–3 (January 1, 2004): 107–15.

Popular Sources

Gordon-Reed. Annette. On Juneteenth. New York: Liveright, 2021.

Contextualizing Juneteenth

Readings on the Civil War and Emancipation

Conner, Robert C. General Gordon Granger: The Savior of Chickamauga and the Man Behind “Juneteenth. Philadelphia: Casemate, 2013.

Foner, Eric. The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. New York: W.W. Norton, 2010.

Holzer, Harold, Edna Greene Medford, and Frank J. Williams. The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Social, Political, and Iconographic). Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.

Cultural Studies

Abernethy, Francis Edward, Carolyn Fiedler Satterwhite, Patrick B. Mullen, and Alan B. Govenar, eds. Juneteenth Texas: Essays in African-American Folklore. Denton: University of North Texas Press, 1996.


Ellison, Ralph, Juneteenth: A Novel. Edited by John F. Callahan. New York: Vintage International, 2000.

Web Sources


Cantú, Fred. “Juneteenth Reveals Austin’s Shrinking African-American Population.” CBS Austin, June 17, 2016. http://keyetv.com/news/local/juneteenth-reveals-austins-shrinking-african-american-population.

“Embracing Freedom: Juneteenth Celebrations: Interview with Mark Anthony Neal and Paul Mooney.” By Michel Martin. NPR: Around the Nation, June 19, 2007. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=11182637.

Juneteenth Book Fest. Accessed July 30, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu–Ur5D1oWHD3JOM9rODxw/featured.

Primary Sources

Douglass, Frederick. “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” TeachingAmericanHistory.org. Accessed June 14, 2017. http://teachingamericanhistory.org/library/document/what-to-the-slave-is-the-fourth-of-july/.

“Draft of the Emancipation Proclamation.” The Civil War in America: December 1862–October 1863. Accessed May 21, 2017. http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/civil-war-in-america/december-1862-october-1863.html?loclr=twloc#obj4.

 Blog Posts

Anderson, Jill. “Observing Juneteenth.” Selections from the University Library Blog 25 (2015). ScholarWorks@Georgia State University. http://scholarworks.gsu.edu/univ_lib_blog/25.

“Juneteenth and Emancipation Day in Florida.” Florida Memory Blog, June 19, 2015. http://www.floridamemory.com/blog/2015/06/19/juneteenth-and-emancipation-day-in-florida/.

Magazine and News Articles

Bouie, Jamelle. “The Black American Holiday Everyone Should Celebrate but Doesn’t.” Slate, June 19, 2015.  http://slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/06/juneteenth_the_black_american_holiday_everyone_should_celebrate_but_doesn.html.

Brown, Lynn. “The Story of Juneteenth.” JStor Daily, June 17, 2016. https://daily.jstor.org/the-story-of-juneteenth/?utm_source=marketing&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=twitter.

Davis, Kenneth C. “Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day.” Smithsonian.com, June 15, 2011. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/juneteenth-our-other-independence-day-16340952/#prIFy7p7QIWlQWFy.99.

Dingle, Joicelyn. “Juneteenth: Explaining an Unsung Holiday.” Ebony, June 9, 2016. http://www.ebony.com/life/juneteenth-explaining-an-unsung-holiday#axzz4B7S8DhNn.

Dockterman, Eliana. “Here’s How America Observes Juneteenth.” Time, June 19, 2014. http://time.com/2903414/how-america-observes-juneteenth/.

McGirt, Ellen. “How a Chef Is Exposing the Hidden Racism in ‘Southern’ Kitchens.” Fortune, June 17, 2016. http://fortune.com/2016/06/17/michael-twitty-juneteenth-freedom-day/.

Tabor, Britney. “Juneteenth in Stories, Songs and Festivities.” Denton Record-Chronicle, June 9, 2016.

Taylor, Quintard. “Juneteenth: The Growth of an African American Holiday.” Accessed May 9, 2017. http://www.blackpast.org/perspectives/juneteenth-birth-african-american-holiday#sthash.n7z5Raeg.dpuf.

Tortorello, Michael. “Juneteenth Gardens: Planting the Seeds of Survival.” New York Times, June 13, 2012. https://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/garden/juneteenth-gardens-planting-the-seeds-of-survival.html?referer=.


Juneteenth at NYPL. New York Public Library. Accessed June 18, 2020. https://www.nypl.org/spotlight/juneteenth?utm_source=eNewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=NYPLConnect_20220617&utm_campaign=NYPLConnect.

“Texas Remembers: Juneteenth.” Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Accessed May 28, 2020.  https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/juneteenth.html?fbclid=IwAR3ByiMsTO25L6vAkvOm3Fg768aS6L6Oq049EPvIgc9Y8CRqXP_oxxhH3k4.

For Children

Bailey, R.J. Juneteenth. Minneapolis: Jump!, 2017.

Jordan, Denise. Juneteenth. Chicago: Heinemann Library, 2008.

Murray, Julie. Juneteenth. Edina, MN: ABDO, 2012.

Nelson, Robin. Juneteenth. Minneapolis: Lerner, 2010.

Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux. Juneteenth. Minneapolis: Millbrook, 2011.

Peppas, Lynn. Juneteenth. New York: Crabtree, 2011.

Ponto, Joanna, and Angela Leeper. Juneteenth. New York: Enslow, 2017.

Smith, Maximilian. The History of Juneteenth. New York: Gareth Stevens, 2016.

Teachers’ Guides and Fact Sheets

Beyond Emancipation: Juneteenth Booklist. Accessed May 21, 2017. http://www.


Juneteenth: Fact Sheet. Congressional Research Service. Updated June 3, 2020. https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R44865.pdf.

“Teacher’s Guide for Juneteenth Jamboree.” Lee & Low Books. Accessed May 21, 2017. https://www.leeandlow.com/books/2417/teachers_guide.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s