Honoring Juneteenth on TV


This Sunday, America will come together to celebrate Juneteenth, the second federal observance of the holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans from Galveston Texas—the last state in the country with enslaved people—and which dates back to 1865, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. In honor of the holiday, cable TV networks have produced powerful programming to not only educate viewers about what this moment in history meant for America, but to spotlight and celebrate African American culture in different ways. The following programming will air starting this weekend on their respective networks: 

BET+ will show the film, "Miss Juneteenth," starting on Sunday. The film is the story of a beauty pageant and a single working mother who pushes her daughter to compete in and win the Miss. Juneteenth beauty pageant, as she did, in hopes of winning her a full scholarship to a historically Black college. The film stars Nicole Beharie, who won Best Actress at the Gotham Awards for her performance. 

BET special, "The Recipe: Juneteenth," will also air on Sunday and will showcase celebrities who are celebrating the holiday while feasting on delicious food and listening to soulful musical performances. 

CNN will host a concert, "Juneteenth: A Global Celebration for Freedom," this Sunday. The concert will feature artists including Yolanda Adams, Anthony Hamilton, Billy Porter, Debbie Allen Dance, and more. Under the musical direction of Grammy-Award winner Adam Blackstone and Academy-Award winner Questlove, the concert will also include the Re-collective Orchestra, which was the first all-Black symphony to perform at the Hollywood Bowl. There will also be a pre-show hosted by the network's Don Lemon. 

ESPN2 will debut on Sunday a new, one-hour special, "Omitted: The Black Cowboy," which covers the largely unreported history of African American western cowboy and rodeo culture. The program focuses on a western cowboy legend, Bill Pickett. He was a farmhand boy born into slavery who became the first African American boy inducted into the National Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. After Pickett died, an all-Black Rodeo was created to be a safe space for riders to develop their skills and compete at high levels. 

The HISTORY Channel will premiere on Saturday a new documentary that tells the story of three of the Black baseball players who followed legendary player Jackie Robinson into the major leagues. "After Jackie" explores the challenges and obstacles that still remained between Black players and equality, even after Robinson opened the first door for Black baseball players to enter the majors. 

Nickelodeon will premiere a special Juneteenth episode this Sunday on the show, "Tyler Perry's Young Dylan." In the Juneteenth special, the characters on the show will be preparing for a float parade as well as baking and cooking for social gatherings in honor of the holiday.