What To Watch For Juneteenth: Shows, Documentaries And Streaming Events
Courtesy of CNN
Juneteenth – or Freedom Day – is date the commemorates when the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. It was first observed in Galveston, Texas, where on June 19, 1865, the last slaves were informed of their freedom over two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
In recent years, Juneteenth has become a bit more mainstream due to the senseless killing of George Floyd, as well as the other incidents of police brutality and the years of unequal treatment towards people of color. In 2021, it was recognized as a federal holiday after President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth Nation Independence Day Act into law.
Many people celebrate Juneteenth in different ways. Whether you treat it as a day of service, or a time to spend with friends and family, just make sure you observe the holiday respectfully. If you decided to stay in the house this weekend, here are some movies and television to watch while celebrating Juneteenth.
Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom
Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom The concert special will feature several stars, including Yolanda Adams; Billy Porter; Earth, Wind & Fire; Jhené Aiko; Killer Mike; Mary Mary, Michelle Williams; Mickey Guyton; The Roots and more. A pre-show hosted by the network’s Don Lemon begins at 7pm. Watch on CNN, Sunday at 8 EDT/PDT
Something in the Water Festival
Something in the Water Festival Pharrell Williams’ three-day Juneteenth music festival in Washington, D.C., includes artists include Pharrell & Phriends, 21 Savage, Anderson .Paak, Calvin Harris, Chloe X Halle, Dave Matthews Band, J Balvin, Jon Batiste, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert, Pusha T, Tyler The Creator, Usher and several more. Watch on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Friday through Sunday at 3 p.m. EDT/noon PDT
Sound of Freedom: A Juneteenth Celebration
Country artist Jimmie Allen hosts the hourlong special celebrating Black artists’ contributions to music. The program features performances from Patti LaBelle, Jon Batiste and Marvin Sapp and interviews with Lizzo, Ciara and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Watch on ABC, Friday at 8 EDT/PDT; streaming on Hulu.
Fox Soul’s Juneteenth Honors
Fox Soul’s Juneteenth Honors The event celebrates Juneteenth and acknowledges the achievements of several Black luminaries. Terrence J and MC Lyte will host the ceremony, and the honorees include Big Sean, Doug E. Fresh, Maxwell, Omari Hardwick, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty, Robert Smith, and Cathy Hughes.
Omitted: The Black Cowboy
Omitted: The Black Cowboy The special shines a light on the commonly ignored history of Black cowboys like, Bill Pickett, the first to be made a member of the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. Watch on ESPN2, Sunday at 2 EDT/PDT.
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America’s Black Patriots – This film uses letters, diaries, speeches, journalistic accounts, historical text, and military records to document and acknowledge the sacrifices and accomplishments of African American servicemen and women since the earliest days of the republic.
Monumental Crossroads: Heritage, History, And Hate
Monumental Crossroads: Heritage, History, And Hate – During a 6,000-mile road trip through the former Confederacy, this documentary explores the legacy of Southern Heritage. A myriad of supporters and opponents is met along the way: White, Black, North and South.
Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class
Against All Odds: The Fight for the Black Middle Class – Through historical footage and personal interviews, journalist Bob Herbert explores the heroic efforts of black families to pursue the American dream despite the obstacles and setbacks that have emerged from the Jim Crow era through the Great Recession.
Nat Turner and the Slave Rebellion of 1831
Nat Turner and the Slave Rebellion of 1831 – Feature on Nat Turner’s slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831 is a watershed event in America’s history of racial conflict, and a foreshadow of things to come in the outbreak of the Civil War. This groundbreaking documentary tells the story of that violent confrontation and its impact on the still relatively new nation.
A Ripple of Hope
A Ripple of Hope – Documentary detailing Robert Kennedy’s famous speech in Indianapolis on the night Martin Luther King was killed. It was a moving, extemporaneous plea for peace and reconciliation. The documentary captures an extraordinary and often-misunderstood moment in American history.
Jayhawkers: The True Story Of Phog Allen And Wilt Chamberlain
Jayhawkers: The True Story Of Phog Allen And Wilt Chamberlain – Directed by Oscar-winner Kevin Willmott, Jayhawkers tells the powerful tale of how a small group of unlikely allies modernized college sports and changed a small Midwestern town, serving as a parallel to the Civil Rights movement that would transform an entire American society.
Race for Justice
Race for Justice – This documentary tells the story of how three women came together – an attorney from Chicago; a high school teacher in Manhattan; and a grieving daughter whose father was killed by a police officer in Staten Island. The documentary showcases the ongoing struggle for acceptance and justice amidst a burgeoning national debate over race and police brutality.
Civil: Ben Crump
Civil: Ben Crump This doc centers on attorney Ben Crump who has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Ahmaud Arbery. “Civil,” directed by Nadia Hallgren (“Becoming”), captures Crump’s pursuit of civil cases for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Andre Hill. Watch on Netflix, Sunday, June 19.
Smithsonian Channel’s Juneteenth Programming
Smithsonian Channel™ will feature a series of programs that explores the history of Juneteenth by unpacking slavery, the Civil War and the path to freedom. Those programs include, Civil War 360: Fight For Freedom, One Thousand Years of Slavery, Escape to the Great Dismal Swamp and The Green Book: Guide to Freedom. Watch on Sunday, June 19th starting at 1pm ET.