Juneteenth: Lines of Freedom and Inspirational African American Resources

Juneteenth is the celebration of African-American freedom. Back in 1865, June 19th is the day that the word finally made it across the country that all slaves were freed. Still today, people gather around the country to celebrate what many would consider the official African-American Independence.

I have been realizing lately that for awhile my book selection has been limited. Part of the narrowness will not change for me – I am not planning on adding books to my list that include unnecessary language and situations unless there is redemption involved. But I have been realizing that I need to broaden my focus to include more authors and books that include characters who may not look like me or have my perspective. This post featuring African Americans is a start.

I think through the years I have read books that included other African-American characters, but perhaps they did not stick out to me. These are the titles that I have read already that I know include prominent black characters throughout the story line. I plan to continue to add to the list.

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During my time as a classroom teacher and as a #homeschool mom, I have taught American History many times. Besides reading to my kids, this is my favorite subject! Through the years, I have found some great multi-perspective textbooks! But today I pulled out a couple of books that were written long ago. I had kept them because they were old, and sometimes a closer rendition is more accurate. But now I looked at them with new eyes. Important people were missing. There was evident bias I had not noticed. Taking a class on #africanamerican history from my friend @latrice.ingram is helping me see more clearly. Now I look at #historyeducation differently. I do not assume all details are fact. I want to continue doing better at seeing the past from many angles. "History Lessons" is about a plantation that was not properly preserved to reflect all of its past. The time period of the story is the 1970's – a decade not often written about yet. This #historicalfiction title by author @lindalhargrove features a history professor who is working to make sure that the African American contributions, even as slaves, are still recognized in this community. I really enjoyed the book. As a novella, the history portion was shorter than I wanted. But I am hoping as I read the rest of the trilogy, there will be more details. The author grew up in the area and based her fiction on fact. The family connections add a lot to the book as well! I looked for a picture of the toddler me reading a book to add to this #tbt post. No luck. But I decided sharing a picture with my Dad was fitting. (#happyfathersday Love you!). As for my childhood book, I won it in a 2nd grade reading contest. My total was so far above everyone else's that I no longer was allowed to enter any more contests. 😁. The more things change, the more things stay the same. 😂 @sassybookishmama @books.n.blossoms #inspiredbookchallenge #1973 #remember #history #truth #AfricanAmericanhistory

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Note: the whole Newland Road series is about African-American half sisters learning to become family together.

This is another book series written by an African American writer …

This is book 1 in the Faith and Fortune series about three African American roommates who learn to handle the challenges of life together. Only Book 1 is available so far, but I do plan to watch them all.

These books feature prominent African American characters but are not written by African American writers …

This book wrecked my understanding of the world of African Americans – particularly men. I never understood how many assumptions were made until I read this book. Note: this one contains a strong element of behind-the-scenes spiritual warfare. Not everyone will be comfortable with this angle.
This book reflected headlines better than anyone hoped as part of the focus included the burning of African American churches.
Jazz Monroe is an important character in all three Wishing Bridge Books, but in this one she is featured. She is still in recovery from the life of being a super model. This book is about community and learning to discover what you really want out of life.

Movies

All of the inspirational movies put out by the Kendrick Brothers include prominent African American characters. In particular, the movie “War Room”focuses on an African American family. Because this is movie is a bit more intense, we have not yet watched it as a family.

War Room

When I was searching for War Room, I came across another inspirational movie that features African-Americans. I have not watched this one yet either, but it sounds really good.

God's Compass
This movie is about finding God’s healing through the tough times of life.

This is only the start of books and movies featuring African Americans. For now, I am not even going to attempt to list out musical artists as there are so, so many. (Kirk Franklin anyone?) But for now, for me, this post is a start in the right direction of expanding my boundaries.

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