Celebrities on stage at White House
Source: @whitehouse on instagram

Juneteenth Celebration: Joe Biden Promises to Keep Fighting for Blacks

Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Kirk Franklin, Roy Wood Jr., and others celebrate black culture in early Juneteenth with President Joe Biden.

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by Ìbùkúnolúwa Dàda

On June 10, the White House celebrated Juneteenth and Black Music Month with a concert featuring  Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, and Gospel singer Kirk Franklin, who would be speaking at ForbesBLK Summit later this month. 

President Joe Biden said he would keep fighting for the rights of Black Americans regardless of other leaders working against this. “ Taking away your freedoms, making it harder for Black people to vote or have your vote counted. Closing doors of opportunity, attacking the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. If you can believe it, banning books about Black experience. Black History is American History” said Biden. “The day reminds us that we have a helluva lot more work to do.”

In 2021, Biden made Juneteenth (June 19) a federal holiday, by signing it into law. June 19 was the day in 1865 when enslaved African Americans in the Confederate States were informed of their freedom two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

The Jim Crow era, which followed Juneteenth, was highlighted by the emcee of the concert, comedian and actor Roy Wood Jr. while urging African Americans not to forget the journey of freedom. “It’s important to know how we got all the way from enslavement to the first Black woman vice president and the first Black woman on the Supreme Court,” he said. 

Other celebrities at the concert include singer and songwriter Anthony Hamilton, singer and songwriter Raheem DeVaughn, singer and actress Patina Miller, country singer and songwriter Brittney Spencer, jazz musician Trombone Shorty, and singer and songwriter Charlie Wilson.

The concert comes amid tense political tension as the elections draw near. Biden faces ex-president Donald Trump again and Black voters seem to be the deciding factor as Rep Donalds also romanticized Jim Crow on June 4 in a bid to win Blacks over for Donald Trump—an attempt that backfired. 

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