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Book Cover for: They Built Me for Freedom: The Story of Juneteenth and Houston's Emancipation Park, Tonya Duncan Ellis

They Built Me for Freedom: The Story of Juneteenth and Houston's Emancipation Park

Tonya Duncan Ellis

A moving picture book about the history of Emancipation Park in Houston, Texas--and the origins of Juneteenth.

When people visit me, they are free--to run, play, gather, and rejoice.

They built me to remember.

On June 19, 1865, the 250,000 enslaved people of Texas learned they were free, ending slavery in the United States. This day was soon to be memorialized with the dedication of a park in Houston. The park was called Emancipation Park, and the day it honored would come to be known as Juneteenth.

In the voice and memory of the park itself--its fields and pools, its protests and cookouts, and, most of all, its people--the 150-year story of Emancipation Park is brought to life. Through lyrical text and vibrant artwork, Tonya Duncan Ellis and Jenin Mohammed have crafted an ode to the struggle, triumph, courage, and joy of Black America--and the promise of a people to remember.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
  • Publish Date: May 14th, 2024
  • Pages: 32
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9780063286054
  • Recommended age: 04-08
  • Categories: History - United States - GeneralAfrican American & BlackSocial Topics - Civil & Human Rights

About the Author

Ellis, Tonya Duncan: -

Tonya Duncan Ellis is a former journalist and the author of the Sophie Washington series. She lives in Houston, Texas. You can visit her at

Mohammed, Jenin: -

Jenin Mohammed, winner of the 2020 Summer Spectacular Illustration Grand Prize, is the illustrator of the picture books Naming Ceremony, Song in the City, Super Mom, and All the Places We Call Home. She also draws the slice-of-life comic Knot Write Now. She lives in Florida. You can find her online at

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