Local author writes first-ever children’s book about Florida’s Emancipation Day


MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Community leader Byron Dickens decided to write a children’s book called ‘May Day and Me!’ to help educate children, and even adults, about Florida’s Emancipation Day.

Juneteenth is more widely known as Emancipation Day, but Florida’s day is May 20, 1865. Both days have the same core celebration.

Dickens said he remembers celebrating May Day growing up, but he said he feels the festivities surrounding Florida’s Emancipation Day have died out — which is why he decided to write his book, ‘May Day and Me.’

“With my kids, I wanted to come up with something to keep them captivated in it and learn something as well,” Dickens said.

Dickens said he feels learning about our state’s and nation’s history will unify all of us.

“When I look at history in general it’s Crispus Attucks or whether it’s Paul Revere, whether it’s Emancipation or whether it’s Independence Day, it plays one big role in what we celebrate as Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” Dickens said.

Marianna Mayor, Travis Ephriam, said his children have the book. He said he appreciates how the book makes it easy for children to understand Emancipation Day.

“It helps to lay out the reason why we celebrate it,” Ephriam said. “How Florida is different from Texas, how the Emancipation Proclamation and the lack of technology took a while for the word of mouth to literally carry by hand and by foot to different communities and celebrate although it was late to a degree — May 20th is the day the word got to us.”

If you want to purchase a copy of the book, click here.

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