Juneteenth is just days away and while the holiday celebrated on June 19 commemorates the official ending of slavery in the United States, it’s hands down one of the Blackest holidays of the year.
For those who don’t know on Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect where it was declared that “all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free.” But it would take another two and half years on June 19, 1865, for the news to travel with General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers who delivered the executive order in Galveston, Texas that Civil War had ended and enslaved people were freed
Yet with Black communities celebrating Juneteenth for the last 157 years, the personal and local holiday was not made an official federal holiday until President Joe Biden signed a bill into law on June 17, 2021, recognizing Juneteenth as an official federal holiday after the House passed legislation that establishes June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day.
With cookouts, festivals, concerts, exhibits and more it’s a celebration for all to celebrate and learn more about why Juneteenth is so special.
Read below for BET.com's Blackity-Black Binge-Watching Guide: The Juneteenth Edition and check out the What To Listen section which features songs from a curated playlist from Apple Music.
What To Watch On Juneteenth Weekend:
What: Executive produced by LeBron James and Stanley Nelson (Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre, Attica) and directed by Andre Gaines (The One and Only Dick Gregory, The Lady and the Dale), After Jackie tells the story of the second wave of talented Black baseball players after Jackie Robinson. Notable names include Bill White, Curt Flood, and Bob Gibson, who continued the fight for racial equality and the push to integrate the game of baseball for African American athletes around the world.
"Freedom, for me, means the right to self-determination. Much of my work as a documentary filmmaker has engaged with the struggle of African American people to free themselves from the oppressive forces that would limit their freedom – whether struggling against the institution of slavery as in my upcoming film," says Stanley Nelson, Executive Producer of After Jackie.
Where to Watch: The HISTORY Channel
When: June 18 at 8 PM ET
Juneteenth: A Global Celebration of Freedom
What: For the 157th anniversary of Juneteenth several Black entertainers will perform live at the Hollywood Bowl including Earth, Wind & Fire, The Roots, Mary Mary, Anthony Hamilton, Yolanda Adams, Lucky Daye, Robert Glasper, Michelle Williams, Jhené Aiko, Billy Porter, Killer Mike, the Debbie Allen Dance Academy and an all-Black orchestra Re-Collective Orchestra. The event will be led and conducted by the Oscar Award-winning drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and celebrated multi-instrumentalist Adam Blackstone.
Where to Watch: All CNN platforms
When: June 19 at 8 p.m. ET
The Black Pack: Excellence
What: R&B artists Taye Diggs, Ne-Yo, and Eric Belligner will commemorate Juneteenth in a television special to explore how to celebrate America’s newly acknowledged national holiday and honoring the music greats that came before them. Where to Watch: The CW
When: June 19 at 8:00 pm ET
EVERYDAY WATCH + STREAMIES:
What: Written and directed by Channing Godfrey, Miss Juneteenth, which stars Nicole Beharie, follows the story of a former pageant queen and hardworking single mother Turquoise as she balances her personal life and preparing her teenage daughter for the next “Miss Juneteenth” pageant.
Where to Watch: BET+
What: During Season 1 of Donald Glover’s Atlanta "Juneteenth" episode, written by Stefani Robinson and directed by Janicza Bravo, the popular absurdist comedy sees Earn (Glover) and Vanessa (Zazie Beetz) attending a more than pretentious Juneteenth-themed party hosted by an affluent biracial couple.
Where to Watch: Hulu
What: In Black-ish's Season 4 premiere, the "Juneteenth" episode takes inspiration from the Broadway musical Hamilton and shines a light on the lack of Black holidays.
Where to Watch: Hulu
What: This PBS series delves deep into the significance Juneteenth has in Black culture, each 30-minute episode takes a different angle from looking at the African American heritage in Texas, life after the Civil War, and more.
Where to Watch: PBS
WHAT TO LISTEN TO (Curated by Apple Music):
Bun B - "This is What We Do (June 19th)" feat. Jack Freeman (Original)
Cautious Clay - "Been in the Way” (Original)
Lupe Fiasco - “Galveston" (Original)
Jlin - "Eye Am” (Original)
WSTRN - "Free Your Mind” (Original)
Elena Pinderhughes - "Get Away” (Original)
Damien Sneed - "Sequestered Thoughts” (Original)
Brittney Spencer - “More Than Perfect” (Original)
EVENTS, EXHIBITS AND EXPERIENCES
13th Annual Juneteenth NY 2022 Festival
What: This year’s theme for the New York festival will spotlight “Unity in the Black Family Unit,” the three-day event will be both virtual and in-person with live performances including special guest artist Renée Neufville.
Where: Brooklyn, NY
When: Virtually (June 17) and In-Person (June 18 - June 19)
The Harlem Chamber Players Present the Masterpiece: The Ordering of Moses
What: Paying tribute to the Harlem Renaissance composer Nathaniel Dett’s (1882-1943) master oratorio The Ordering of Moses, the musical event will feature a 60-piece orchestra and 75-member chorus as a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance Centennial, conducted by Damien Sneed and hosted by WXQR Radio Personality Terrance McKnight.
When: June 17, 2022 at 7:30 PM ET
Where: The Riverside Church (490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10027; Masks required)
What: Headlined by gospel artist Tye Tribbett, the unityfest will also host a neighborhood block party with DJ Spinna, an official Unityfest Concert at Prospect Park and a late night after-show at Brooklyn Bowl. Other performers include Deborah Cox, Israel Houghton, Mali Music and more.
Where: BRIC in Brooklyn, NY
When: June 19
For more info click here.
2022 Juneteenth Unity Weekend
What: For Dallas Southern Pride and Juneteenth, Yo Gotti will headline the Unity Weekend! Other superstar performers include Moneybagg Yo, The City Girls, Saucy Santana, Yella Beezy and Erica Banks.
When: June 16-19
Where: Amplified (10262 Technology Blvd E, Dallas, Texas)
Pharrell Williams’ Something in the Water Festival
What: Something in the Water 2022 will take over Washington, D.C., and with a three-stage show, there will be a little something for everyone! Artists slated to take the stage include Tyler, the Creator, Pusha-T, Lil Uzi Vert, Mariah the Scientist, Rae Sremmurd, Run the Jewels, Ashanti and Ja Rule, Chloe x Halle, SZA, N.O.R.E., Q-Tip, Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, 21 Savage and more.
When: June 17-19
The Colors and Forms of History
What: A Black History Month exhibit featuring artists Doba Afolabi, Sheryll Cashin, Bernie Houston and Chris Malone.
When: Feb. 4, 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. ET
Sign up here.
Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame Crown Jewel of Excellence Induction Ceremony and Juneteenth Celebration
What: The official induction ceremony for the Class of 2022 will take place outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium and will honor Prince, Nas, Run-D.M.C., Charlie Wilson, Tamela Mann, the Clark Sisters, Steve Harvey, Bob Marley, Patti LaBelle, Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff, Duke Ellington and Urban One founder Cathy Hughes.
When: June 18
For more information click here.
Leimert Park Juneteenth Festival
What: With performances by Buddy, Masego, and Smino who will take the the "Live on Leimert" stage in collaboration with "Credit the Culture," a celebration of Black Music Month from Rotation + Amazon Music. Other sponsors of the fest include Def Jam, Motown, SESAC and LACMA.
When: June 18, 2022 at 12 PM - 9 PM PT
Indiana Juneteenth Freedom Music Festival featuring What the Funk Tour
What: An evening filled with performances by the Average White Band, Bar Kays, Zapp and Trouble Funk
When: June 18 at 6:00 pm at Murat Theatre at Old National Centre
Don’t forget to head over to BET.com to find other engaging content during Juneteenth!