Historian Annette Gordon-Reed "On Juneteenth," June 2 at 7 p.m.
Press Release · Thursday, May 27, 2021

Washington, DC

On Wednesday, June 2, at 7 p.m., the National Archives welcomes back (virtually) Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and Texas native Annette Gordon-Reed to discuss her new book On Juneteenth, the sweeping story of Juneteenth’s integral importance to American history. This program is especially relevant as lawmakers consider recognizing June 19 as a national holiday. Register in advance; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.

Joining Gordon-Reed in conversation will be Roy Young, CEO of James Madison’s Montpelier and The Reverend Dr. Halliard Brown, Jr., a board member of the Orange County, Virginia, African-American Historical Society. This program is presented in partnership with James Madison’s Montpelier. Program, and the upcoming Emancipation Proclamation and General Order No. 3 Featured Document Presentation is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Boeing Company.

On Juneteenth weaves together American history, dramatic family chronicles, and searing episodes of memoir. Gordon-Reed provides a historian’s view of the country’s long road to Juneteenth, recounting both its origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African Americans have endured in the century that followed, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow and beyond. All too aware of the stories of cowboys, ranchers, and oilmen that have long dominated the lore of the Lone Star State, Gordon-Reed―herself a Texas native and the descendant of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s―forges a new and profoundly truthful narrative of her home state.

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard. Gordon-Reed won 16 book prizes, including the Pulitzer Prize in History in 2009 and the National Book Award in 2008, for The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy; Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan; Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History; Andrew Johnson; and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination. Her many honors include a fellowship from Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and the George Washington Book Prize.

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