On June 19, 1865, the Union Army arrived in Galveston, Texas, to order freedom for American slaves. This arrived more than two years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, making Texas the final state to acknowledge the abolition of slavery and the end of the Civil War.
In the following decades, June 19 was mainly observed by African Americans to celebrate the end of slavery. But after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, the holiday — named Juneteenth — gained more prominence in the Civil Rights Movement and entered public consciousness.
Today, nationwide protests are illuminating a history of systemic racism and the ongoing fight for equality, especially within the African-American community. As Juneteenth approaches, its symbolism has become more important than ever.
As a way to remember the fundamental contributions of black musicians and honor black culture, 90.9 The Bridge is devoting this Friday, June 19 to music exclusively made by black artists. We'll reach back to the icons like Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, into the major, emerging and local innovators of today, like Janelle Monáe, Brittany Howard and Angélique Kidjo. We hope that this will be a source of entertainment and music discovery, as well as a moment for all of us to listen, learn, reflect and engage our own communities.
Tune in on air, stream us online, via our App or your smart speaker by saying "Play The Bridge from TuneIn." Our friends at Flatland are also developing content about Juneteenth to post Friday morning. Visit flatlandkc.org to find out more.