Understanding the Significance and Relevance of Juneteenth in the United States

The following materials have been carefully curated by Mayer Brown’s Diversity & Inclusion team to provide context for the firm’s recognition of June 19, Juneteenth, as a paid holiday in our US offices.

We offer these materials as a core set of essential resources that you should consider to be a starting point in your education about the impact of race in America. Approximate time commitments for each resource are noted in parentheses.



1619 Podcast

The New York Times' critically acclaimed podcast “1619” examines how slavery continues to shape modern-day America. It’s long-form journalism, delivered as a story told in five parts:

Trailer: Introducing “1619”(5 mins)
Episode 1: The Fight for a True Democracy (44 mins)
Episode 2: The Economy That Slavery Built (33 mins)
Episode 3: The Birth of American Music (35 mins)
Episode 4: How the Bad Blood Started (40 mins)
Episode 5: The Land of Our Fathers, Part 1 (30 mins), Part 2 (37 mins)


Code Switch

Code Switch is a weekly podcast featuring fearless conversations on race and culture from American public radio network NPR.

Recommended episodes:
A Decade of Watching Black People Die (22 mins)
Not Just Another Protest (42 mins)



Attend Virtually


KidsJuneteenth Jamboree explores stories of Black culture and history and includes highlights from a decade of Juneteenth celebrations (27 mins)

Woman in Orange Shirt

Why Juneteenth is Important for America, a very brief history lesson (4 mins)



The 2016 documentary “13th,” (a reference to the 13th Amendment of the US Constitution) examines racial prejudices within the US prison system through interviews with politicians, historians, academics and convicts. It draws powerful similarities between the profit-driven slave trade and the profit-driven mass incarceration industry that continues today. (1 hr 40 mins)

Parent and Child

Black parents explain how to deal with the police to their children (5 mins)


NFL Player Emmanuel Acho answers questions about race (9 mins)

Professor Bryan Stevenson

NYU Law JD Convocation Keynote Address by NYU law professor and criminal justice expert Bryan Stevenson (32 mins)


Reconstruction: America After the Civil War is a four-part documentary that explores the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, destruction, and social change. 

Part 1 (56 mins), Part 2 (56 mins), Part 3 (56 mins), Part 4 (55 mins)


TimelineExplore this timeline to learn how history unfolded during the Reconstruction era, 1863-1877



Chase Madar

Brianna Holt

Claire Cain Miller

Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

Michelle Alexander

Penn GSE News


Stamped from the Beginning   How to be an Antiracist   The New Jim Crow   So You Want to Talk About Race   A Spectacular Secret


For Children


Sulwe   Kids Book


ShouldersOn The Shoulder of Giants (40 mins)





Talking About Race (webpage by the National Museum of African American History & Culture)


Sesame Street   Let It Shine