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Annette Gordon Reed "On Juneteenth"

Description

There is perhaps no one more qualified than Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Annette Gordon-Reed to tell the sweeping story of Juneteenth. In her searing new book, the Texas native chronicles both the state, and the country’s, long road to Juneteenth—and the many hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Jim Crow and beyond.

Gordon-Reed expertly weaves together her own family’s chronicle—she is a descendent of enslaved people brought to Texas as early as the 1820s—alongside the wider context of American history. It is this combination of poignant personal anecdotes and powerfully demonstrative facts that make Gordon-Reed’s account so vital, stirring, and eloquent.

As our nation now recognizes June 19 as a national holiday, On Juneteenth is both an essential account and a stark reminder that the fight for equality is exigent and ongoing. This meaningful and personal talk, based on the book, is expected to breathe new life into the historical events that have led us to this moment—and illuminates a new path forward.

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Author's Bio

Annette Gordon-Reed is the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University. 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 (W.W. Norton, 2008). In addition to articles and reviews, her other works include Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemings: An American Controversy (UVA Press, 1997), Vernon Can Read! A Memoir, a collaboration with Vernon Jordan (PublicAffairs, 2001), Race on Trial: Law and Justice in American History (Oxford University Press, 2002), a volume of essays that she edited, Andrew Johnson (Times Books/Henry Holt, 2010) and, with Peter S. Onuf, “Most Blessed of the Patriarchs”: Thomas Jefferson and the Empire of the Imagination (Liveright Publishing, 2016). Her most recent book is On Juneteenth (Liveright Publishing, 2021).

Gordon-Reed was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford (Queens College) 2014-2015. Between 2010 and 2015, she was the Carol K. Pforzheimer Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.  She was the 2018-2019 President of the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. She is the current President of the Ames Foundation. 

A selected list of her honors includes a fellowship from the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, a Guggenheim Fellowship in the humanities, a MacArthur Fellowship, the National Humanities Medal, the National Book Award, the Frederick Douglass Book Prize, the George Washington Book Prize, and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Gordon-Reed served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Dartmouth College from 2010 to 2018. 

She was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and was a member of the Academy’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences. In 2019, she was elected as a member of the American Philosophical Society.

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