The White House announced on Wednesday (June 7) that President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be hosting a Juneteenth concert on the South Lawn on June 13.
The event comes two years after Biden signed bipartisan legislation establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday. Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19 annually, commemorates the end 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 said at the time of signing the bill. “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.'”
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The Juneteenth concert event is supported by National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Pernod Ricard USA, STARZ #TakeTheLead Initiative and The Recording Academy. It features Jennifer Hudson, Audra McDonald, Method Man, Colman Domingo, Ledisi, Patina Miller, Step Afrika! and more.
The Juneteenth concert will take place during Black Music Month. Also known as African-American Music Appreciation Month, Black Music Month was formally recognized as a national monthlong observance in 2000. “I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month by honoring Black musicians and raising awareness and appreciation of Black music,” Biden wrote in a briefing officially declaring June 2023 as Black Music Month.
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