Biden Administration Hosts Second White House Juneteenth Concert

‘While Juneteenth is a day for celebration, it is also a day for dedication,’ said Vice President Kamala Harris.

The Biden Administration hosted a concert on June 10 in commemoration of Juneteenth amid Black Music Month.

With the White House as its backdrop, the stage on the south lawn featured “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, and hosted black musical artists such as R&B singer and actress Patti LaBelle, singer and Grammy winner Gladys Knight, and gospel singer Kirk Franklin.

It was the second Juneteenth concert to be held since President Joe Biden made the day the nation’s newest federal holiday in 2021, and it comes as his administration works to retain its support among Black voters in lieu of the November elections.

He told the audience that his decision was not “just a symbolic gesture” but a “testament to the resilience of generations of black Americans.”

President Biden was joined by Vice President Kamala Harris and scores of other elected politicians across various levels of government, from cabinet members and senators to city mayors and county commissioners.

Getting its name from a combination of the words “June” and “nineteenth,” Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 when Union soldiers reached Galveston, Texas, and began enforcing then-President Abraham Lincoln’s slave-freeing Emancipation Proclamation two years after he issued it.

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Vice President Harris called for June 19 to also become “a national day of action on voting” and asked the leaders at the concert to help register Americans to vote.

“While Juneteenth is a day for celebration, it is also a day for dedication. A day to rededicate ourselves to the ongoing and unfinished work of our American experiment,” she said. “A day to renew our commitment, to defend our freedoms, to honor our history, and to continue to fight for the promise of America.”

Actor and comedian Roy Wood Jr., emceed the event and, in his opening remarks said Juneteenth was always celebrated by black people in the “liberated south,” but now the entire nation recognizes the day “with the reverence and respect that it’s always rightfully deserved.”

He also outlined the accomplishments of President Joe Biden’s administration, including the $16 billion given to black colleges, the limits on drug prices, and attempts to eliminate hundreds of millions of dollars in college debt.

He joked about the administration’s investments in black-owned businesses, telling the audience, “If you are a black business owner, or you aspire to be a black business owner, trust me, tonight is the night to ask him for the capital. He is right here.”

Mr. Wood also praised the music chosen for the night, which he described as “numerous genres that are born out of the black experience.”

“Tonight, we’re going to be reminded that both the history of Juneteenth and the genre of black music prove that there is nothing our people cannot do,” he said.

In the lead-up to the event, the White House released a statement reminding voters of the Biden administration’s work over the nearly four years “to advance racial equity and ensure the promise of America for Black Americans.”

“Since day one, President Biden and Vice President Harris have advanced racial justice and asserted that Black history is American history,“ the White House said in a statement before the event. ”We build a better future—together as a Nation—not by trying to erase America’s past, but by knowing our full history as a country.”
Biden won 91 percent of the black vote in 2020, according to AP VoteCast. However, recent polls have shown former President Donald Trump chipping away at that dominance.

Aldgra Fredly contributed to this report. 

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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