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Juneteenth Collection: About


Text reads "19 June Juneteenth Freedom Day MCC Library Collection" on a Black background . There's a black silhouette in the lefthand corner surrounded by a green, yellow, and red concentric circle and book covers for five books: "Never caught," "On Juneteenth," "Wake," "Sweet taste of liberty," and "Black ghost of empire"

Image Credit: Yoli Bergstrom-Lynch

Join MCC's Raymond F. Damato Library in celebrating Juneteenth, also known as Jubilee Day, by exploring this mini collection of books, audiobooks, films, music, and state-wide events commemorating Black freedom from enslavement. Learn more about the history and significance of Juneteenth from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture's Google Arts and Culture site titled, “The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth.”  Our collection includes books you can borrow from the Damato Library and from the libraries in the CSCU consortium (i.e., the 12 Community Colleges, 4 Connecticut State Universities, and the CT State Library).

Inspired by Kleaver Cruz's The Black Joy Project, this mini collection also features books that center Black joy and resilience. In relating the significance of joy to Black survival, Kleaver Cruz explained, "Black joy is not . . . dismissing or creating an 'alternate' black narrative that ignores the realities of our collective pain; rather it is about holding the pain and injustice . . . in tension with the joy we experience. It's about using that joy as an entry into understanding the oppressive forces we navigate through as a means to imagine and create a world free of them" (see "Black Joy: Resistance, Resilience and Reclamation" by Elaine Nichols).

In honor of Black Music Month, we have included a special Juneteenth Spotify playlist curated by the Damato Library. Be sure to check it out! This virtual collection ends with a hyperlinked list of local Juneteenth celebrations. You can also commemorate Jubilee Day by visiting local Black Heritage Trails and supporting Connecticut-based Black-owned businesses via ShopBlackCT.


Guide Curator:

    Yoli Bergstrom-Lynch -- Research & Instruction Librarian

MCC Books, Audiobooks, & Movies

"From Slavery to Freedom"

Historical Fiction

Black Joy & Resilience



DVD cover with the title
DVD cover of actress Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman standing in a field  of tall grass that has gone to seed wearing a long overcoat and large hat. There 's a small group of runaway enslaved people in the background
DVD cover of two Black women looking at each other. One woman is wearing a crown and the text reads,

CSCU Library Consortium Books

"From Slavery to Freedom"

Historical Fiction

Black Joy & Resilience


Librarian Curated Spotify Playlist


NOTE: Events are listed in chronological order.

New London

Green fox running with a small tree branch. Text reads Connecticut Landmarks

Juneteenth Festival | Campfire Discussion

June 9th, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Free

Gather around the campfire for a community conversation on the grounds of the Hempsted Houses to commemorate historic and present-day struggles toward freedom and hear more about the work of Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project. Registration appreciated, but walk-ups always welcome! 

Location: Hempsted Houses, 11 Hempstead Street, New London, CT 06320  

Juneteenth Festival | Community Celebration

June 10th, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Free

Join Connecticut Landmarks for a Juneteenth celebration with the City of New London, highlighting the African American history of the Hempsted Houses and the surrounding New London neighborhood, with partners.

The celebration will feature music, dance, performances, a Witness Stone installation, and a dash of history, with activities and crafts for children. Speakers include Joseph McGill of the Slave Dwelling Project, Tammy Denease of the Connecticut Freedom Trail, and artist Jazzmen Lee-Johnson. Register now

Location: Hempsted Houses, 11 Hempstead Street, New London, CT 06320  


Text reads culture for service inc prsents jubilee

Jubilee 2023

June 10th, 5:00 PM - 10:00 PM | $20-90

A Jubilee experience provides entertainment, community recognition and support for black owned businesses throughout the Tristate. Jubilee offers a fun interactive space for networking, cultural expression, delicious ethnic cuisine and beverages for the evening. This event is jam packed featuring 2 DJ’s, a live band, VIP sections, small business vendors, a small awards presentation for our “Freedom Fighter Award Recipients”, and a host of other activities. Proceeds from this event will benefit The Terrell Campbell Memorial Scholarship and community enrichment programs.

Location: The Russell Restaurant 187 Allyn Street Hartford, CT 06103

West Hartford

Text reads 11 June Vendor Pop Up 1 to 5 PM

Vendor Pop Up

June 11th, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Free

Join us to Celebrate Juneteenth and Support Local Minority-Owned Businesses. The event will feature a range of vendors, each showcasing unique and high-quality products that celebrate the spirit of Father's Day and Juneteenth. 

Location: Warehouse 635 635 New Park Avenue West Hartford, CT 06110


Text reads Manchester's Juneteenth Freedom Commemoration Art, live music and performances, poetry, food, vendor markets, family activities and more


Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration

June 17th, 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM | Free

Join the Town of Manchester & its community partners for their 3rd annual Juneteenth Freedom Day Commemoration.

Location: Leisure Labs at Mahoney Center, 110 Cedar Street, Manchester CT

West Haven

Image of a family sitting on a picnic blanket while listening to a musical performance


Free Community Day | Juneteenth

June 17th, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Free

Join us on this day-long event, featuring artistic performances, music, in-gallery experiences, and of course art-making. Shop from local Black-owned businesses, support independent artists, and grab a bite from regional food trucks. 

Location: 56 Lexington Street, New Britain, CT 06052

East Hartford

Juneteenth Family Celebration

June 17th, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Free

East Hartford, CT – The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with East Hartford Public Library, East Hartford Parks and Recreation, the Committee on Culture and Fine Arts and the East Hartford Black Caucus invite you to attend the town’s second annual Juneteenth Celebration.

Location: East Hartford Town Green, 1047 Main Street

New Britain


Free Community Day | Juneteenth

June 17th, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM | Free

Join us on this day-long event, featuring artistic performances, music, in-gallery experiences, and of course art-making. Shop from local Black-owned businesses, support independent artists, and grab a bite from regional food trucks. 

Location: 56 Lexington Street, New Britain, CT 06052


Text reads Juneteenth 2023 festival

Juneteenth Festival 2023

June 17th, 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM | Free

Our second annual Juneteenth Festival 2023 is fast approaching. More information on fun and exciting happenings coming soon.  See you on the Town Green.

Location: Enfield Town Green, 81-199 N Main St, Enfield, CT, 06082


Text reads Juneteenth celebration hosted by Avon, Canton, Farmington, and Simsbury. Saturday, June 17th, 12 - 4 pm. Free admission

Juneteenth Celebration hosted by Avon, Canton, Farmington, & Simsbury

June 17th, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Free

A free community event hosted by the towns of Simsbury, Avon, Farmington, and Canton and featuring performances by Nekita Waller, Damian Curtis Afro Cuban Jazz Project, Magic Soul Academy, and FriendZWorldMusic. Guests may bring their own picnic lunch and join friends and community members at “The Longest Table” to foster connections, ideas, and relationships. The engagement tent on site will offer one-on-one experiences with the artists! Celebrate culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion!

Location: Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center, 22 Iron Horse Boulevard, Simsbury, CT


Text reads Juneteenth freedom day June 19

2nd Annual Danbury Juneteenth "Day of Freedom" Celebration

June 17th, 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Free

This free outdoor family event will be held Western Connecticut State University (WCSU), Midtown Campus. This year's theme is "Educate. Empower. Engage." The preliminary schedule of activities include: All day music, live performances, food trucks, an art exhibit, Juneteenth walking tour, kids corner, vendors, wellness exhibits, informational tables, and more.


Text reads Hamden Juneteenth celebration of freedom. Saturday, June 17: 1-4 PM. Town center park

Hamden Juneteenth Celebration

June 17th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM | Free

Musical & Cultural Performances, Food, Vendors, Special Honoring of Black Excellence.  And so much more. There will be a special unveiling of the MLK mural from 12-1 at the Miller Memorial with a parade to Town Center Park.  

Location: Town Center Park, 2761 Dixwell Ave, Hamden, CT, 06518


Text reads June 19, 1865 and includes and image of a star in the center

Juneteenth Celebration

June 17th, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Free

Rain Date: June 18, 2023

Location: Norwalk Green, Norwalk CT


Juneteenth Celebration

June 17th, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM | Free

Rain Date: June 18, 2023

Location: Norwalk Green, Norwalk CT



Text reads the 1st annual juneteenth gemini skate party


June 18th, 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM | $15-20 (2 and under free)

"Come Celebrate our African American Freedom. Get your Skate or Dance on. Play some cards. Bust out the Bones. Show Love and keep the Peace‼️"

Location: Roller Magic 60 Harvester Road Waterbury, CT 06706


Image of a drawn black fist. Text reads bells of for Juneteenth

Bells for Juneteenth

June 19th, 12:00 PM | Free

On Monday June 19th, we will ring our steeple bell in commemoration of Juneteenth, and in memory of all those who have been killed due to their skin color. Juneteenth is the recognition of the day enslaved people in the Untied States were emancipated through President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Juneteenth – the 19th of June – was first officially celebrated in Texas in 1866 when people of African descent celebrated their newfound freedom through prayer and song.

Location: Enfield Congregational, United Church of Christ, 1295 Enfield St, Enfield, CT, 06082