President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn on June 13, the White House announced on Wednesday.
The Juneteenth concert will take place during Black Music Month, also known as African-American Music Appreciation Month, and will feature Jennifer Hudson, Method Man, Audra McDonald, Step Afrika!, Colman Domingo, Ledisi, Patina Miller, and the Tennessee State University Marching Band, Aristocrat of Bands.
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Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, was signed into law by Biden in 2021 — designating June 19th as a National Independence Day.
The Juneteenth holiday originated when on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, bearing the news to enslaved people that slavery had ended — nearly two-and-a-half years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.
“We have come far, and we have far to go. But today is a day of celebration,” said Vice President Kamala Harris at the bill signing, speaking before the president. “It is not only a day of pride but a day to rededicate ourselves to action.”
“Great nations don’t ignore their painful moments past,” said Biden. “They don’t ignore those moments in the past. They embrace them. Great nations don’t walk away. We come to terms with the mistakes we made.”
He added, “Juneteenth marks both a long, hard night of slavery and a promise of a brighter morning to come.”
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