Gordon-Reed made her name, and won a Pulitzer, as a historian of Virginia, and specifically of Thomas Jefferson’s estate of Monticello, as she told the history of its black residents alongside its white ones in unprecedented detail. But she was raised in Texas, East Texas specifically, and her little handbook about Juneteenth, the local holiday that is finally becoming a national one, gives the history behind the celebration, as well as a very personal history of the presence of black people—alongside white and indigenous people—in that one-of-a-kind state. She loves the state in which she was raised, and for that very reason, she is compelled to tell its honest history.
—Tom Nissley, Phinney Books, Seattle, WA
We hope everyone gets to honor the history behind Juneteenth and work toward liberation and justice this weekend! Thanks to Phinney Books for this recommendation.