Abolitionist Biographies to Celebrate Juneteenth

Juneteeth, also known a Freedom Day and Emancipation Day, is a holiday celebrated on June 19th in the United States that commemorates the day in 1865 when freedom of enslaved people in Texas was finally proclaimed and enforced. We've compiled a list of abolitionist biographies that you can read with your family to learn about some of the people who fought to end slavery in the United States. Some are picture books you can read with young children, others are great for beginning readers, and others are more advanced biographies for teens and adults. We also included a book about the Emancipation Proclamation, for older readers, that covers the people, times and events that led to freedom.

Juneteenth Band
Juneteenth band. Photograph by Grace Murray Stephenson of celebrations in Eastwoods Park, Austin, 1900.

Angry Abolitionist: William Lloyd Garrison
Before She Was Harriet
Eloquent Crusader: Ernestine Rose
The Emancipation Proclamation
Frederick Douglass: Boy Champion of Human Rights
Frederick Douglass: Freedom Fighter
Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History
Friends for Freedom: The Story of Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
Harriet Beecher Stowe: Connecticut Girl
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman: Freedom Girl
John Brown
John Brown: His Fight for Freedom
Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters
Lucretia Mott: Foe of Slavery
Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth
Prudence Crandall: Woman of Courage
Sisters against Slavery: A Story about Sarah and Angelina Grimke
Sojourner Truth: Slave, Abolitionist, Fighter for Women's Rights
There Was Once a Slave: The Heroic Story of Frederick Douglass
The Underground Abductor
Walking The Road To Freedom: A Story about Sojourner Truth
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass