A Letter from our Founder on Juneteenth

Monday June 19, 2023 By Barbershop Books

Graphic with rainbow. Rainbow is red yellow and green. Heart under rainbow. Text reads Juneteenth Freedom Day June 29, 2023

Dear Friends,

Juneteenth is an annual reminder of the inhumanity of American slavery and of the collective efforts of abolitionists who fought to end it. Enslaved Africans in Galveston Bay, Texas learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865 more than two years after the emancipation proclamation. Although the institution of American slavery ended, the children of descendants of slaves and other marginalized children remain trapped in cycles of poverty and illiteracy. Social residue from reading laws that prohibited slaves from learning read is evident in the historic racial disparities in reading observed in the United States.

This Juneteenth, we encourage you to join Barbershop Books’ movement to expand reading opportunities for Black boys and to support them in realizing their full potential. 

Educationally Yours, 

Alvin Irby
Founder and Chief Reading Inspirer 
Barbershop Books

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