President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be hosting a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn, the White House declared.
The event comes about two years after Biden signed the bipartisan legislation making Juneteenth a federal holiday. The annual Juneteenth celebration honours the abolishment of slavery in the United States. “Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, and a promise of a brighter morning to come. This is a day of profound — in my view — profound weight and profound power,” Biden stated at the time of signing the bill.
He added, “A day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take — what I’ve long called ‘America’s original sin.’”
National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Pernod Ricard USA, STARZ #TakeTheLead Initiative, and The Recording Academy all provided funding for the Juneteenth concert event. Ledisi, Patina Miller, Step Afrika! Method Man, Colman Domingo, Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, and other performers are included in the event.
Black Music Month will be observed during the Juneteenth concert. Black Music Month, also referred to as African-American Music Appreciation Month, was formally acknowledged as a national month-long event in 2000. In a briefing designating June 2023 as Black Music Month, Vice President Joe Biden wrote, “I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month by honouring Black musicians and raising awareness and appreciation of Black music.”
– Riya Sohini