WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will host a Juneteenth concert next week in a “celebration of community, culture and music,” the White House announced Wednesday.
The concert, to be held June 13, will be on the South Lawn of the White House. During the event, the White House says it will “uplift American art forms that sing to the soul of the American experience” as part of Black Music Month.
Artists that will be featured include Tony Award winner Audra McDonald, singer and talk show host Jennifer Hudson, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith, a member of the legendary hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.
Juneteenth marks when the last enslaved people in the United States learned they were free — which occurred June 19, 1885, when Union soldiers told enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas, news of their freedom. It became a federal holiday in 2021.
“This is a day of profound weight and profound power, a day in which we remember the moral stain, the terrible toll that slavery took on the country and continues to take,” Biden said two years ago as he signed legislation, backed by overwhelming bipartisan margins in Congress, that established Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
This story has been corrected to change the date commemorated by Juneteenth to June 19, 1885, not 1985.