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This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today.

After 300 years of forced bondage;
hands bound, descendants of Africa
picked up their souls—all that they owned—
leaving shackles where they fell on the ground,
headed for the nearest resting place to be found.

Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and honor a holiday whose importance reverberates far beyond the borders of Texas. 

Sojourner Kincaid Rolle is a poet, playwright, and an environmental educator. She was the Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, CA (2015-2017). Her book of poems for young people , The Mellow Yellow Global Umbrella, was published as an e-book and audio book by Lucky Penny Press. She lives in California.

Alex Bostic began his career as a studio artist, working in Los Angeles and New York City. He lives in Mississippi and is an associate professor of art at Mississippi State University.


"The soulful illustrations in a muted palette align seamlessly, portraying events in a dignified, momentous style....These lyrical verses are perfect for reading out loud." -- Booklist, starred review

"A noteworthy tribute to Juneteenth... A profound memorial to the suffering, strength, and stories of Black Americans." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Each stanza is paired with gorgeous and warm artwork that complements the text... a worthy purchase." -- School Library Journal

"This is a book that needs to be on the shelf of every library." -- School Library Connection

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