June 19, 2022 (12:00 - 1:30 pm)
The Press Release
The Broadway League’s "Black to Broadway" Initiative will present "Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth", a free outdoor event centered around black joy and unity that will feature black Broadway performers in a free outdoor 90-minute concert.
Tony Award®-winner James Monroe Iglehart will host
The goal of "Black to Broadway" is to inspire deeper engagement with, awareness of, and access to Broadway for all black people. Created by the Broadway League in 2019, and originally called "Let’s Do Broadway", this initiative is an industry-wide celebration of the black community on Broadway—on stage, in the audience, behind the scenes and as leaders in the Broadway community.
With special guest appearances by 2022 Tony Award-winner Myles Frost (MJ The Musical)
And 2022 Tony Award nominee Jared Grimes (Funny Girl) ...
(as well as many others)
... for their incredible community involvement and astounding achievements on Broadway.
"Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth" starts at noon and is a free 90-minute concert featuring black performers, and allies, performing their own works of art, with their song, dance, and poetry accompanied by live music provided by The Music Performance Trust Fund. [End Bdwy League Press release]
Duffy Square was very hot. The sun was beating down on us, no shade.
Didn't seem to matter, though. the crowd was very happy, looking forward to the celebration
"In Galveston, Texas, the home of Juneteenth, residents began marking the day when members of the Union Army arrived upon the southern reaches of Texas in 1865 to both inform enslaved people that they were henceforth entitled to a wage for their labor, and to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation among slaveholders. Black people have led their own celebrations for the holiday since its inception. Their celebrations have since reached everywhere the black diaspora has spread." [AOL]
FLICKR Slide Show
.Videos 1 - Juneteenth 2022. Times Square- NY. Gennean Scott (Broadway League's first director of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) and Lauren Reid (Chair - Board of Governors of the Broadway League) began the event.
Video 2 - June 19, 2022- Ben Vereen was an honored guest, but first he gave an introduction to the meaning/ history of the Juneteenth Celebration.
The crowd was also watching behind the enclosed area and seated on the red steps.
Video 3 - Charlotte St, Martin (President of the Broadway League) introduced Ben Vereen and Leslie Uggams who were being honored with the 2022 "Juneteenth Legacy Awards", followed by Tony winner, Myles Frost.
Ben Vereen then accepted his award.
Regarding this new National Holiday, "Charlie Kirk pointed out that the recent push around the June 19th holiday is a cynical attempt by the Left to sow division and tell Americans that “really we’re more racist than ever.” [Human Events]
As much as I would like racism to be erased, the proliferation of the Marxist CRT (Critical Race Theory -Woke narrative)- that black artists must now be hired at all levels, instead of white people, to supposedly end racism: this propaganda has warped their minds. They can't handle the truth, that hiring anyone based on the color of their skin: IS racism.Perhaps.
Video 4 - Brian Moreland, Aaliytha Stevens (Exec Prod of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth/Black to Broadway) They introduced Leslie Uggams, who received the 2022 "Juneteenth Legacy Award". But, first they spoke of her many accomplishments on Broadway.
Video 5 - Leslie Uggams then accepts the 2022 "Juneteenth Legacy Award".
One of the many guest performers (I didn't catch the names)
A view of the back of the stage looking north as I left Duffy Sq
Unfortunately, Kamala Harris exhibited - again- how misinformed too many have become.
"Vice President, Kamala Harris, bungled a history lesson about the Juneteenth holiday Monday, telling kids that black people were enslaved in America for 400 years — overstating the actual time period by more than 150 year" [NY Post]
++ But, Deroy Murdock, an American political commentator, offers a better understanding of the Juneteenth holiday. (It's long, but well-written.)
America marks our second Juneteenth national holiday Monday. Some will focus on the severe pain and death that slavery inflicted on blacks between 1619 and 1865. It would be far more useful, however, to celebrate so much that black Americans have accomplished since the original Juneteenth liberated the last of some 4 million emancipated slaves.
That joyous day arrived on June 19, 1865. Having vanquished the Confederacy that April, victorious Union Army soldiers reached Galveston, Texas. They encountered that final group of slaves who were unaware that the South had fallen.
More important, the men in blue uniforms read General Order No. 3 to people who, until then, were private property: “All slaves are free.” Henceforth, these black men, women and children belonged to themselves, not others.
Republican-led Reconstruction efforts initially offered blacks much hope. Some former slaves represented the South in Congress.
Alas, Democrats got the upper hand as Reconstruction faltered, and they dug their heels into black necks. But despite the oppression of Democrat-enforced Jim Crow laws and the terror imposed by the Democrat-founded and -manned Ku Klux Klan, blacks capitalized on the opportunities that America offered, first grudgingly and then with increasing enthusiasm. Since the Civil Rights Act of 1964 torpedoed Democrat-operated systemic racism in the South, millions of blacks have flourished across America.
Booker T. Washington rose “Up from Slavery,” as his fascinating memoir details. Born as his master’s possession in 1856, Washington was free but spectacularly poor after the first Juneteenth. At one point, he slept beneath a raised sidewalk in Richmond, Va.
Washington soon educated himself and then others. He founded Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute on July 4, 1881. It was among the first historically black colleges and universities. Washington wrote and lectured widely and became the White House’s first black dinner guest when Republican President Theodore Roosevelt welcomed him in October 1901.
Madam C.J. Walker became America’s first female millionaire entrepreneur. She earned her fortune in the early 1900s by marketing hair-care products to fellow blacks. By selling Afro Sheen before Afro Sheen, she made enough money to buy a mansion in posh Westchester, near that of John D. Rockefeller.
The Netflix mini-series “Self-Made” dramatizes Walker’s amazing story. It stars Octavia Spencer, a black success story in her own right and an Academy Award winner, along with Sidney Poitier, Isaac Hayes, Whoopi Goldberg, Denzel Washington, Spike Lee and numerous other exceptional black filmmakers.
Black musicians Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington co-fathered jazz, as W.C. Handy, Sidney Bechet, Ella Fitzgerald, Fats Waller, Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Delight Jones, George Benson, Wynton Marsalis and countless other black talents still polish this all-American art form to a blinding sheen.
The Tuskegee Airmen bombed Adolf Hitler to bits and buried beneath smoldering rubble the notion that blacks lacked the brains to fly.
Jackie Robinson integrated baseball. Muhammad Ali was The Greatest pugilist. Michael Jordan towered over basketball. Tiger Woods dominated golf and still competes despite severe wounds from a February 2021 car wreck.
Impresario Berry Gordy launched a whole new sound called Motown. Kenneth Chenault led American Express for 17 years. Ursula Burns was Xerox CEO. Richard Parsons ran Citigroup and Time Warner. E. Stanley O’Neal’s grandfather was a slave. Two generations later, O’Neal chaired Merrill Lynch.
Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice were US secretaries of state. Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch were US attorneys general. Kamala Harris is vice president. And Barack Obama spent eight years as president.
If he were alive, Dr. Martin Luther King likely would argue that — while room to rise remains — his Dream has come true. Beyond these famous names, millions of black Americans use their freedom to improve themselves, their loved ones, their communities and this nation.
This and every Juneteenth, Americans of all hues should applaud black success since emancipation rather than wallow with the critical race theorists in all the wrongs before June 19, 1865. [NY Post] END
[Where indicated pictures and videos property of Pamela Hall-VSB]