Juneteenth Edition 2021

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Braylyn Resko Stewart, Whitney Holbourn, Andrew Norris, Say Their Name Mural

Dear Friends,

For 156 years, Juneteenth has been celebrated to mark the end of slavery in the United States.  Juneteenth speaks to the spirit of survival and brings celebrations of Black resiliency overcoming adversity. Persistent police violence and racial inequity deepened by COVID-19 disparities sparked a national reckoning on difficult unresolved legacies of enslavement of Africans and their descendants and propelled Juneteenth to the forefront.

“Every year we must remind successive generations that this event [Juneteenth] triggered a series of events that one by one defines the challenges and responsibilities of successive generations. That’s why we need this holiday.” Texas State Rep. Al Edwards

June also brings special commemorations of Pride, Caribbean Heritage, and Black Music. These celebrations reveal the power of resiliency and inspiration of creatives to illuminate beauty, tell stories, acknowledge injustices, and honor triumphs of the Black experience.

Thanks to all who moved Congress to pass legislation yesterday to establish Juneteenth as a national holiday as our country continues its difficult struggle with unresolved racial inequities. Each of us can embrace the spirit of Juneteenth to forge a path to a better community and country.


The Miami MoCAAD Team

Juneteenth commemorates the day on June 19, 1865, when General Gordon Granger notified enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas of their Emancipation.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, two years before Juneteenth.  See transcript of Emancipation Proclamation here.

Annette Gordon-Reed’s, On Juneteenth, “blends dramatic family chronicle and searing episodes of memoir to provide a historian’s view of the USA’s long, brutal road to Juneteenth.”  Her book recounts Juneteenth’s origins in Texas and the enormous hardships that African-Americans have endured in the century since, from Reconstruction through Jim Crow.

Zanele Muholi, Qiniso,The Sails, Durban

Zanele Muholi, (1972- ), South African, is a self-described "visual activist" photographer. Their work deeply engages with history of violence against Black bodies and LGBTQ+ communities. Qiniso, from the Somnyama Ngonyama, series, positions their body in meditations surrounding class, gender, race, justice and human rights.

Tessa Mars, Dream of Freedom, Dream of Death IV
Tessa Mars, Dream of Freedom, Dream of Death V

Tessa Mars (1985- ) based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, her work explores identity, through language and gender and by questioning geography and history. Mars is not afraid to raise questions about transmission, memory, gender, and most importantly freedom and what it means to fight for it.

Willie Bester, Homage to Steve Biko

Willie Bester (1956- ) is a South African painter, sculptor, and collage maker. Bester is well known for his art protesting apartheid and police violence. He creates art in post-apartheid South Africa protesting corruption and focusing on climate change.

Tanda Francis, Rockit Black

Tanda Francis, is a Brooklyn-based artist who creates art that celebrates diasporic African people and sees ancestral rituals and spiritual beliefs as powerful means to understanding and addressing current and future conditions facing humanity. Rockit Black is a public artwork project aimed at undoing stigmatization of blackness by presenting black identities as divine and foundational to our shared humanity.

Gio Swaby is a Bahamian visual artist whose practice is an exploratory celebration of Blackness and womanhood. "I wanted to create a space where we could see ourselves reflected in a moment of joy, celebrated without expectations, without connected stereotypes." She was recently profiled by Artnews, read here.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden, a filmmaker, virtual artist, and curator whose work explores and critiques issues at intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and social commentary. Watch this behind-the-scenes look at the sound installation, THE CHILLS.

Micha Serraf is a South African-based photographer whose work explores concepts of belonging, identity, blackness, and masculinity.

"I want to move away from describing these narratives from the angle of hopelessness, loss, and absence. I want to push a more celebratory narrative that is fantastical, soft, and imaginative and fueled by the unshakable belief in an abundance."

Gio Swaby, New Growth

Below are Juneteenth events celebrating the liberation of enslaved African Americans and the community for where it is now. You are invited to these free events to acknowledge our difficult history, express gratitude for progress and embrace visions for the future.

Juneteenth on Ali Baba Avenue hosted by the Opa-Locka CDC, Saturday, June 19, 4pm-9pm, at Opa-locka ARC, 675 Ali Baba Ave., Opa-locka, FL.Enjoy live entertainment, visual and performing art, interactive workshops, and family-friendly fun. Enjoy tunes, activities and a bite to eat from vendors. Register here!

The Juneteenth Miami Drive-In Celebration on June 19 at 5 PM, will feature visual art, food, music, and family fun activities. Live bands will perform a collection of fun and spirited music with poets, artistic works, and motivational speakers focusing on the celebration of Miami’s unique diversity and freedom. Register via Eventbrite.

Hued Songs and the Rhythm Foundation presents The Juneteenth Experience, June 19 at 6:30 PM via live stream virtually and at the North Miami Beach Band Shell (limited in-person audience). The Experience will include screening films (Three 15 minute films,) entertainment and DJ Carter Jackson-Brown (Brainville) RSVP here.

Annette Gordon-Reed’s recent publication of On Juneteenth honored by Harvard University in a virtual event. It featured poetry and performance by Harvard College student Remka Nwana. On Juneteenth blends, history and memoir to shine light on the day the end of legalized slavery reached African Americans in Galveston, TX. Hosted by the Harvard Office for Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging watch the recording of the conversation here.


Caribbean Heritage Month was established to create and disseminate knowledge about contributions of Caribbean people to the United States. Founded in 2006 by presidential proclamation of George H.W. Bush. Notable Caribbean Americans include James Weldon Johnson, writer of the Black National Anthem, Lift E'vry Voicc and Sing; Celia Cruz, world-renowned "Queen of Salsa", and Shirley Chisholm, the first African American Congresswoman and first African American woman candidate for President, are among many.

Nguyen Smith, A New Flag for the Caribbean

Nguyen Smith was inspired by a lecture by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies. The lecture was influenced by the seven Black Caribbean claims for reparations, the ten-point reparation plan devised by the CARICOM Reparations Commission and Indigenous people of the region.

Vickie Pierre, I Can't Say No To You (Good Enough)

Vickie Pierre is best known for beautiful decorative wall installations that blend elements of her Haitian heritage with contemporary pop culture. Pierre’s assemblages are as whimsical as they are evocative. See her show Be My Herald of What’s to Come at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, which runs through September 5, 2021.

Sanctuary, at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, features recently acquired works exploring concepts of safety and refuge in the African American experience. These photographs and mixed-media works support complex narratives and assert the importance of claiming a place of one's own." The exhibition runs through July 11, 2021.

Enunciated Life, also at the California African American Museum, investigates spiritual beliefs, movements, sounds, and other bodily expressions within and beyond the black church. Ashon T. Crawley's scholarship recognizes the beauty and power within Black Pentecostalism that inspired the exhibition's title. The exhibit runs through August 15, 2021.

Through the Looking Glass at The Amistad Center presents the Linsly Simpson Collection, which explores the progression of the collection and underscores its relevancy to the here and now. Simpson created this dynamic collection to elevate African American art, artifacts, and ephemera spanning from the 17th to the 19th century. The exhibit runs through October 3, 2021.

Creating Community: Cinque Gallery Artists is the first-ever exhibition celebrating the legacy of the Cinque Gallery, which showcased African American artists for over 35-years when other galleries overlooked their work. This exhibition is currently on display at the Art Students League of New York, and runs through July 4, 2021.

Joel Mpah Dooh's "Stories to Tell”, a solo exhibition at Gallery MOMO, presents a new body of work created by the artist during his residency at Gallery MOMO, Johannesburg. View his works here.

Here are more exhibitions throughout the country! Emma Amos: Color Odyssey opens June 19, 2021, at the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY and runs through September 12, 2021. Testimony: The African American Artists Collective at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO runs through March 27, 2022. Lucia Hierro: Marginal Costs at The Aldrich, Ridgefield, CT, runs through January 2, 2022; Tschabalala Self: By My Self, at Baltimore Museum of Art, runs through September 19, 2021.


Pride month includes celebrations of the black queer community that recognize their cultural influences and social justice and liberation work. Sparked by the 1969 Stonewall uprising when demonstrators flooded New York streets to fight discrimination and state-led violence against the LGBTQ+ community, black queer people have been change agents for social justice and expansion of perceptions of diversity within the Black community.

Black queer culture is the genesis for many trends we see today. From slang to music, Black queer folk are trendsetters. Check out Afropunk’s article reviewing the history of “camp”, the theme of the 2019 Met Gala.


June is Black Music Month. Black Americans’ contributions to American music cannot be understated. The National Museum of African American History and Culture details the different music genres that have sprung from African American creativity.

The year 2020 brought the coronavirus pandemic that changed our world. South African cellist Thapelo Masita, highly aware of its impact and divisions that emerged, created a program featuring J.S. Bach, Negro spirituals, South African hymns, and Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson intended as a “metaphor for the kind of transformation we so deeply need”. Listen here.

Eugene Kiing's music sings, Black is beautiful and the importance of celebrating the skin you’re in. He is a Los Angeles-based producer, songwriter, musician, Listen here to his song Pretty Brown Skin. Beyonce acknowledges the resiliency of Blackness in Black Parade. Listen here!


Unwind and unplug with art books and exhibits of photographs.

Kacey Jeffers, in his first book, Uniform, displays a series of photographic portraits of kids in their regulation uniforms at schools in the Caribbean island of Nevis, “His images make a terrific use of light and have an impeccable color sense.” They also chronicle how, despite the sameness of the uniforms, each student's individuality shines through. Read a review of his book here and get a preview of some of the images inside.

Rahim Fortune presents a photographic exploration of people fixed within the complex Texas landscape and surrounding states in I Can’t Stand To See You Cry (Loose Joints). His biographical approach to photography attempts to unpack his identity during a pandemic, civil unrest, a cross-country move, a career, and the loss of a parent, thinking about the future and past.

Gioncarlo Valentine is a photographer and writer whose work focuses on experiences of marginalized groups, often the Black/LGBTQ+ community. View his website here.

Oluwarotimi Adebiyi Wahab Fani-Kayode, known as Rotimi Fani-Kayode, was a Nigerian-born photographer who moved to England as a child. His work explored the relationship between class, sexuality, and race and his place within this intersection. He sadly passed away too soon from AIDS related complications.


Raoul Peck directed the film, I Am Not Your Negro, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished novel, Remember this House. The film illuminates black history that connects the past of the Civil Rights movement to the present #BlackLivesMatter movement with up-to-the-minute examinations of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and rich archival material. Watch free on YouTube.

PBS presents a new three-part documentary series, Inside the Met that takes viewers on a journey following the MET's response to the coronavirus pandemic and reckoning with historical racism. The episode we have selected focuses on the Met's reexamining of the narratives told through artwork displayed at this institution.

Wangechi Mutu, I Am Speaking, Are You Listening?

"We are powerful because we have survived." – Audre Lorde

Dr. Alonzo J. Reddick passed two constitutional amendments and authored the legislation for the State of Florida’s Juneteenth Observation – the unofficial date that enslaved Africans in Texas heard they were free. Dr. Reddick was the first African American from the Orlando area elected to the House since the Reconstruction Era.

Dinizulu Gene Tinnie, Miami-Dade County’s Hidden History of First Recorded Lynching. The Miami Herald’s, front-page headline, “ Bad Princeton Black Hung by Necktie Party” reported Miami-Dade County’s first recognized recorded lynching, which occurred on November 29, 1920. Florida actually has the highest amount of lynchings per capita than any other former Confederate or border state.

Dr. Marvin Dunn’s The Beast in Florida: A History of Anti-Black Violence chronicles the lesser-known history of racial terror in Florida.

Tameka Bradley Hobbs’ dissertation on lynching in Florida was the precursor to her award-winning book, Democracy Abroad, Lynching at Home: Racial Violence in Florida. Read her dissertation here.


"Inspiration Nation" the summer issue of activity guides presented by the Smithsonian Institution in collaboration with USA TODAY shares stories and activities from the Smithsonian to light a creative spark, inspire innovation and help K-8 learners reimagine a future filled with hope. Download the guide here.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture’s Reading Guide for students in grades 3-12 includes non-fiction and fiction curated to provide enrichment about African American history and culture based on permanent and temporary exhibitions of the museum. Check out the reading list here.

Rainbow: A First Book Of Pride by Michael Genhart, illustrated by Anne Passchier introduces early readers to Pride Month who can then and use tempera paints, a straw, and tape to make celebration flags. Watch a live reading here!


Pridelines' Centers offer safe environments for all LGBTQ+ youth, adults, and allies and provide a range of programs and services. 6360 NE 4th Court, Miami, FL 33138. Hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. HIV Testing and Emergency Services available by appointment: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Peer-led Support groups and Social Programs are available via remote Platforms.

The Pollack-Krasner Foundation provides financial resources for visual artists to create new work, acquire supplies, rent studio space, prepare for exhibitions, attend a residency and offset living expenses. There is no deadline and grants are issued on a rolling basis.

ArtsU is an online education forum for arts professionals to gain new skills, knowledge, and connections to personal and organizational goals. Check out "For Arts Professionals in the Know" section articles and webinars.

Foundation for Contemporary Arts issues emergency grants to artists on a rolling basis. Emergency Grants provide funding for artists whom unexpected circumstances occur near their exhibition or performance date. Grants range in amounts from $500-$2500.

The Creative Independent provides emotional and practical guidance to meet the COVID crisis, focusing on what it takes to make a living as a visual artist, musician, writer, or other creative professional. It includes guides on financial planning and survival, grant applications, and systems for community support.


When did the Florida legislature pass the Juneteenth statute?

What is the date the emancipation of enslaved Africans is commemorated in Florida’s capital city of Tallahassee?

Check our website to see the answers!

-The Miami MoCAAD Team

Miami MoCAAD Board Members:

Marilyn Holifield, Hans Ottinot, Monique Hayes, Sheldon Anderson


Michelle Johnson, Dale Jennings II


Corbin Graves, Luz Estrella Cruz, Charlie Farrell

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