This weekend, African Ancestry will be among millions of Black people and businesses who are celebrating the national holiday, Juneteenth, which commemorates the day of emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
For African-Americans, this was and continues to be a special day where we we’re publicly “allowed” freedom from enslavement and were transitioned from a perception of property to personhood. The truth is, we have always been full, whole, wonderful people. Today, we extend the celebration of the original day, June 19, 1865, which was the day that the last enslaved people in Galveston, TX learned that they were freed upon President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. Since 1980, Juneteenth has become a national holiday where we honor those who came before us and endured slavery and the generations and generations that built the legacy that we are today.
We’re tuning in and enjoying the day and the strong meaning behind it: liberation, freedom, and individual identity.
Wondering how you can honor the day? Some celebrate with barbeques, shopping only at Black-owned businesses, or taking the day off from work and enjoying their families.
For those who plan to take the day off and relax, chances are, you’re going to be streaming or flipping through channels. Here are some things curated for you to watch this weekend in honor of the Day of Freedom.
Here is a list of programming that’s running this weekend specifically for Juneteenth, curated by Deadline.
Juneteenth: Together We Triumph -- A ‘Soul of a Nation’ Special Event
ABC News is hosting a two-hour news special featuring a one-on-one interview with former President Barack Obama discussing race, resilience and his book “A Promised Land.” performances by Jimmie Allen, Chloe Bailey (of Chloe x Halle), and Leon Bridges. Hosted by Leslie Odom Jr., the event will run live on ABC, on Friday, June 18 at 9:01 - 11:00 pm. (EST). It will also be available on Hulu and On-Demand on the actual holiday, Saturday, June 19.
Friday Night Vibes
TBS is kicking off their Friday Night Vibes which will showcase diverse voices through a 52-week movie showcase and prominent discussions hosted by Deon Cole and Tiffany Haddish. Showing first on Friday night, Creed, Creed 2 and Black Panther will air again as the Juneteenth Movie Marathon on Saturday from noon to 5 pm (EST). There'll also be a discussion on the origins of Juneteenth featuring Snoop Dogg.
On Tuesday, June 15, PBS Digital Studios premiered a new episode titled “Are Black People Truly Free? Juneteenth and the Continuing Fight for Liberation” in their Say It Loud series, which celebrates Black culture. It’s currently available to stream, for free, on the PBS Video App and PBS.org.
Slavery by Another Name, PBS’ insightful documentary about African-Americans’ continued forced servitude post-slavery after the end of slavery in 1865. Watch live or stream for free on the PBS Video App and PBS.org.
Between the three FX channels (FX, FXX, FXM) there is a long line up in store for the celebration of Juneteenth. FX will run Selma, The Hate U Give, BlacKKKlansman, Green Book and Hidden Figures from 7 am - 4 am EST. FXX plans to air twelve episodes of Kenya Barris’ black-ish from 7 am - 4 pm EST. Finally, The Hate U Give, Get Out and Selma will run from 3 pm to 3:30 am.
Looking for additional live programming to watch? Read more here.
Movies & Shows You Can Stream
We, at African Ancestry, wanted to share some of our favorites to watch during this time. Here’s a list of some movies and shows you can watch in honor and celebration of Juneteenth. Enjoy :)
We all know the classic, featuring Diana Ross, Richard Pryor and the late Michael Jackson among many. This Harlem remake of the Wizard of Oz follows Dorothy, a school teacher, who while trying to save her dog from a storm gets whisked away to Oz. She goes on a quest to reach The Wiz who can help her get back to Manhattan. The musical adaptation has been a Black favorite since its debut in 1978.
-- “At its core, it’s about liberation.” - Nichole, African Ancestry PR
The 2020 movie follows the mother-daughter relationship of former pageant queen (Nicole Beharie) and her adolescent daughter as she tries to teach her about the history of the Miss Juneteenth pageant and its origin.
-- “It’s a sweet movie and captures the essence of continued exploration of our roots and identity as Black women, Black people.” - Bria Baylor, African Ancestry Marketing Manager
Available to rent on Amazon Prime
I Am Not Your Negro
This powerful movie was brought to life by filmmaker, Raoul Peck, who continued James Baldwin’s 1979 letter to his literary agent about his next project, “Remember This House”. The book was a personal account of the journeys and unfortunate demise of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
-- “It highlights how the social constructs have been and continue to be used to define and limit what’s possible for Black people to achieve.” - Gina Paige, CEO and Co-founder of African Ancestry
Featuring Antônio Pompêo and Tony Tornado, this movie follows the story of a group of Brazilian slaves that collectively revolt and escape the sugar plantation they work and their Portuguese masters. A deep tale of resilience, return and restoration, the 1984 film is worth checking out.
“It’s a classic” - Diallo Sumbry, Director of Partnerships at African Ancestry
Available on to watch on Amazon Prime
Blackish Episode “I Am A Slave”
Kenya Barris’ “Black-ish” has been a big part of television culture since its debut in 2014, following the lives of a multi-generational, Black family including a Black father, biracial mother and their five children. The episode, “I Am A Slave,” which starts Season 4, is a cultural reach back to Schoolhouse Rock and Roots. The episode features a clip detailing Juneteenth and what it’s meant for Black people then through now.
“I love this video because it uses hip hop and animation to make the topic easy to digest. I also like the fact that it displays The Roots’ evolution from being straight forward musicians to being facilitators of history.” - Simone Jones, Director of Data Analytics
Below is a clip, but you can watch the full episode on Hulu.
The entertainment-variety-talk show SOUL! was not only a vehicle to promote African-American artistry, community and culture, but also a platform for political expression and the fight for social justice. It showcased classic live musical performances from funk, soul, jazz, and world musicians, and had in-depth, extraordinary interviews with political, sports, literary figures and more.
“This features Ellis Haizlip (this man was a beast! HU Grad)” - Wendi Cherry, African Ancestry LIVE producer and African Ancestry Hype Woman
Find your local live screening here
This movie tells the story of a young student’s fight against South African apartheid among her classmates and favorite teacher (Whoopi Goldberg).
“How can I forget my fave? [It also features] my jam ‘Freedom Is Coming Tomorrow’” - Ty Brooks, AAOC Community Manager
Have movies or shows to add to the list or want to share how you’re celebrating the Juneteenth holiday, leave in the comments below. 👇🏿
Don’t forget to take advantage of our Juneteenth sale on DNA Test Kits. From June 16 - June 20, you can get 10% off test kits, t-shirts, identity boxes, jewelry, study guides and more.
Find your roots. Add to your cart now.
Resources: Deadline, New York Times, PBS