Happy Juneteenth!

Happy Juneteenth!

Every year on June 19th many in our country celebrate a significant day of liberation in African American History. 155 years ago, today, more than two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, Union General Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas bringing news of the end of the Civil War. General Granger Proclaimed “All slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves”, and while this statement only partially rang true, and we continue to fight for racial equity today, the freedom it proclaimed is absolutely worthy of celebration.

My father is from Texas, and our family history tells us that my great-great-great grandparents were freed on this day in 1865. As a family, we’ve acknowledged Juneteenth for as long as I can remember, so despite the tragedies and racial tensions of the time, it is very exciting for me to see this holiday getting increased recognition this year. Forty-eight of the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have now recognized Juneteenth as either a state holiday, ceremonial holiday, or day of observance. The only two states that do not yet recognize Juneteenth are Hawaii and South Dakota.

Whether it is barbecuing a goat, the way my ancestors did, reflecting on our rich history while drinking red soda and eating watermelon, as is still the custom in my family, watching one or more of the movies listed below, or supporting black-owned businesses. Take today to remember our resilience and celebrate our freedom in whatever ways you enjoy!

Karson Baldwin, President, Project RACE Teens

Photo Credit: https://corporate.target.com/article/2020/06/juneteenth

Documentaries

 

13th by Filmmaker Ava DuVernay

Where to Watch: Netflix

Synopsis: The 13th Amendment of the constitution abolished slavery — except in the case of those convicted of a crime or imprisoned. With a number of historical facts and expert opinions, 13th offers insight into what the black community has faced from law enforcement and the judicial system for the last 155 years.

 

Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement

Where to Watch: YouTube

Synopsis: An original documentary film that chronicles the evolution of the Black Lives Matter movement through the first-person accounts of local activists, protesters, scholars, journalists, and others.

 

America to Me by Director Steve James

Where to Watch: Starz

Synopsis: Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Steve James examines racial, economic, and class issues in contemporary American education in this multi-part, unscripted documentary series.

 

I Am Not Your Negro

Where to Watch: YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes

Synopsis: Director Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished, Remember This House. It is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter. It questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond.

 

Strong Island

Where to Watch: YouTube

Synopsis: The forces of family, grief, and racial injustice converge in this Oscar-nominated documentary exploring the murder of filmmaker Yance Ford’s brother.

 

16 Shots

Where to Watch: Showtime, Hulu, Sling, Amazon Prime

Synopsis: A documentary examining the 2014 shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke and the cover-up that ensued.

 

Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, Vudu, Paramount

Synopsis: This docuseries re-examines the life and legacy of Trayvon Martin, whose death became a catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement.

 

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu, Hulu

Synopsis: This artful and intimate meditation on legendary storyteller Tony Morrison examines her life, her work, and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career.

 

Uppity: The William T. Ribbs Story

Where to Watch: YouTube, Google Play

Synopsis: This documentary profiles a defiant driver who challenged racial barriers in American auto racing, becoming the first black man to race in the Indy 500.

 

Whose Streets?

Where to Watch: Hulu, Amazon Prime, Google

Synopsis: Told by activists and leaders who live and breathe this movement for justice, Whose Streets? Is an unflinching look at the Ferguson uprising and a powerful battle cry from a generation fighting, not for their civil rights, but for their right to live.

 

The Murder of Fred Hampton

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime

Synopsis: A documentary on the slain leader of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, killed in 1969 by Chicago police while he slept in his apartment.

 

Based-On-A-True-Story Films & Shows

 

When They See Us by Filmmaker Ava DuVernay

Where to Watch: Netflix

Synopsis: A limited biopic series about the Central Park Five tells the story of Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise. They were coerced into giving false confessions about their involvement with the 1989 assault and rape of a jogger in Central Park.

 

Antwone Fisher

Where to Watch: Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, YouTube

Synopsis: A 2002 biographical drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington. It is based on the autobiographical book of Antwone Fisher called Finding Fish.

 

Just Mercy

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu

Synopsis: A powerful true story that follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson and his battle for justice as he defends a man sentenced to death despite evidence proving his innocence.

 

Selma

Where to Watch: YouTube, Google Play

Synopsis: Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 legally desegregated the South, discrimination was still rampant in certain areas, making it very difficult for blacks to register to vote. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery for the right to vote.

 

Fruitvale Station

Where to Watch: Tubi

 

Malcom X

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

Film & TV

 

Do the Right Thing directed by Spike Lee

Where to Watch: YouTube

Synopsis: It is the hottest day of the year on a block in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn; a scorching 24-hour period that will change the lives of its residents forever.

 

American Son

Where to Watch: Netflix

Synopsis: An estranged couple reunite in a Florida police station to help find their missing teenage son.

 

Dear White People

Where to Watch: Netflix

Synopsis: Based on the film of the same name, Dear White People follows a group of students of color at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League College.

 

The Glass Shield

Where to Watch: YouTube & Amazon Prime

 

If Beale Street Could Talk

Where to Watch: Hulu

 

The Hate U Give

Where to Watch: Free on All Digital Outlets (FandangoNOW, Amazon, Apple TV…)

 

Monsters and Men

Where to Watch: Free on Youtube

 

The Secret Life of Bees

Where to Watch: Free on All Digital Platforms (Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play, and more)

 

Get Out

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime or YouTube

 

#blackAF

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

All Day and a Night

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

Moonlight

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

 

Comedy

 

 

Chris Rock: Tambourine

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

Michael Che Matters

Where to Watch: Netflix

 

Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia

Where to Watch: Netflix

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