By William Earl | Variety
Juneteenth Unityfest, a livestreamed multi-city event celebrating Black culture and the Juneteenth holiday marking the end of slavery in the United States, will take place on June 19, kicking off at 5 p.m. eastern.
Performers include Robert Randolph, whose Robert Randolph Foundation is presenting the event, Aloe Blacc, Bebe Winans, Black Pumas (pictured), Darius Rucker, Earth, Wind & Fire, Judith Hill, Khruangbin, Michael Franti, Dave Matthews and Carter Beauford, Keb’ Mo’ and Nile Rodgers and CHIC, among others. The event is hosted by Amanda Seales and JB Smoove and will also feature Phylicia Rashad, Billy Porter, Jon Hamm, Van Jones, Wayne Brady, Aisha Tyler, Craig Robinson, Zach Galifianakis and more.
Juneteenth Unityfest, the brainchild of multinstrumentalist artist Robert Randolph, will benefit a coalition of charitable grassroots organizations whose goal is to produce a multicultural experience that unites people of all backgrounds while amplifying the many narratives of the Black experience in America.
June 19, 1865 marks the day when the news of the Emancipation Proclamation reached all enslaved people in the U.S.
“While Juneteenth, the holiday, marks the symbolic end of slavery in America, our goal is for Juneteenth Unityfest to represent the accomplishments of Black people in the United States,” said Randolph. “Through this celebration, our mission is for Juneteenth to serve as an occasion to remember the past, acknowledge our progression and take collective action towards creating a ‘more perfect union’ for all Americans.”
“The Juneteenth Unityfest is bringing a diverse group of people together to commemorate this significant day and the importance of Black culture and Black history,” added Antong Lucky, co-chair of Heal America and president of Urban Specialists. “This is much more than a celebration – it’s an opportunity to educate and learn. It is a time to come together, heal, grow and embrace the bright future we will have if we focus on what unites us rather than what divides us. That’s what it means to heal America, and everyone has a role to play.”
Juneteenth Unityfest is produced by Empire Entertainment in collaboration with Red Light Management with creative direction and head writing by Paul Oakley Stovall. Sponsors and partners include EBONY and LiveXLive, the official streaming partner.