The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is joining nine museums and historical institutions from across the nation to commemorate Juneteenth through BLKFREEDOM.org. The annual collaboration has produced a film documenting the national exploration of the deep-rooted anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing” through the eyes of historic museums and anthropologists from across the United States. The film premieres at 12:00pm EST on June 15 on blkfreedom.org.
The film will explore the historical influences on the evolution of the Black experience in America using the context of the national anthem “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Streaming audiences globally will experience the pride of over 200 years of Gullah culture, the perseverance of Little Africa through Black Laws, tenacity through industry and pop culture in Detroit and resiliency through the COVID era. Additional performances will feature the African American Cultural Ensemble (ACE), West African Dance and poetry.
The Freedom Center partnered with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra to explore the meaning of perseverance in the Black experience. The Freedom Center’s portion of the video using African drums, courtesy of the Gyata Afrakan Drum and Dance Theater, a spoken word performance and narration from Freedom Center historian Carl Westmoreland. It tells the story of Little Africa, a thriving free Black community on the banks of the Ohio River in the mid-1800s that endured Black laws that limited their freedoms and race riots that destroyed their homes and businesses. Little Africa was the gateway to freedom for countless freedom seekers escaping slavery. Today, the Freedom Center stands where Little Africa once thrived and continues to be a gateway to freedom.
BLKFREEDOM.org is a combined effort of the Freedom Center, America’s Black Holocaust Museum (Milwaukee), Amistad Research Center of Tulane University (New Orleans), August Wilson African American Cultural Center (Pittsburgh), California African American Museum (Los Angeles), Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit), Harvey Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture (Charlotte), Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park (Hilton Head Island, SC), National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis) and the Northwest African American Museum (Seattle).
To learn more and subscribe for updates, visit blkfreedom.org.