The Juneteenth Book Festival is set to happen on YouTube on June 19, 2020.
On June 19, 1865, Gen. Gordon Granger arrived with Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, USA and announced to enslaved African Americans that the Civil War had ended and they were free. June 19 became known as Juneteenth Day, celebrated by African Americans across the United States. One hundred and fifty years later, in 2015, there was a one-off celebration of writing by Black people at the US Library of Congress called the Juneteenth Book Festival. You can watch proceedings from that event here.
A new iteration of the Juneteenth Book Festival, organised by author LL McKinney and book publicist Saraciea Fennell, will be making its way to bibliophiles on July 19, 2020. The festival, which will be running on YouTube, seeks to use this day of jubilation to boost and celebrate Black American stories and the people behind them. From writers to artists, to industry pros, the goal is to shine a light on the width and breadth of Black American literature, to strengthen the connection to the communities we write for, and to honour the legacy of Black American storytelling.
Writers, poets, and others in the writing business who will feature include Tiffany D. Jackson, Angie Thomas, Bethany C. Morrow, Julian Winters, Patrice Caldwell, Dhonielle Clayton, Mikki Kendall, Eve Ewing, Tracy Deonn, Kalynn Bayron, Charlotte Nicole Davis, Kwame Mbalia, Karen Strong, Alicia D. Williams, Renée Watson, Nic Stone, Mikki Kendall, Keah Brown, Kacen Callender, Claire Kann, Roya Marsh, Leah Johnson, Lamar Giles, Justin A. Reynolds, Beverly Jenkins, Saraciea Fennell, Nivia Evans, Ashley Woodfolk, among others.