Learn about the Juneteenth holiday

I Am The Hope And The Dream- The Juneteenth Video Project

WCLS buildings will be closed Monday, June 19, 2023, to observe Juneteenth. The federal holiday honors the end of slavery in the United States.

To deepen our understanding of the holiday, in 2022, Connect Ferndale, a program of Ferndale Community Services, created the Juneteenth Video Project. Watch “I Am the Hope and the Dream” via the link on this page.

In 2023, filmmaker Remy Styrk created Part 2 of the Juneteenth documentary project, “Before I.” WCLS partnered with Connect Ferndale to present a special screening of the new film at the Ferndale Library on Saturday, June 17. You can watch “Before I” when it premieres June 19, 2023, on YouTube.

WCLS is honored to be a supporter of the Juneteenth Video Project and to share the resources below for our community to learn more about the holiday.

Juneteenth – June 19th
Whatcom County communities are learning together about the significance of Juneteenth, which became a federal holiday in 2021. Broadening our perspectives through reading and learning together enriches the experience, encourages understanding and builds community. The library collection materials featured on this page are a place to begin.

About Juneteenth
Juneteenth – short for June Nineteenth – marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. On June 17, 2021, it officially became a federal holiday. (Credit: History.org) For more information about Juneteenth, visit your library. 

Juneteenth Resources for Educators from Connect Ferndale


Juneteenth-related documentaries and movies from Kanopy video streaming service (free with your library card)

More Racism & Antiracism Resources for Learning Booklists


What is Juneteenth by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Reparations for Slavery: A Road Map by Clyde Ford

Library of Congress Collection: Voices Remembering Slavery: Freed People Tell Their Stories