Celebrate Juneteenth with episodes on racial justice, political activism through Black history

Jessie Nguyen
Marketing and Communication Specialist
June 19, 2024
·
min read

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Juneteenth signifies the end of a painful chapter of American history and reaffirms the nation’s commitment to racial justice and equality.

Juneteenth Independence Day or Emancipation Day originally marked the end of slavery in Galveston, Texas in 1865 after the Civil War, reported The New York Times. Since the late 1800s, African American communities have gathered to commemorate Black history and an advancement in human rights.

This year marks the fourth year Americans celebrate this holiday since President Biden signed the bill into law in 2021, making it the 11th holiday recognized by the federal government. 

Juneteenth, celebrating Black history and pushing for racial equality have been central themes for many incredible podcast episodes within our network. If the topics interest you, I recommend listening to the episodes below.

Our Body Politic: Juneteenth Celebration of Black Memory and Black Freedom

On June 19, 1865, enslaved people were finally freed in Texas – a day of joy that would become known and celebrated in Black communities as Juneteenth. While the day became a federal holiday in 2021, Juneteenth's expansion is one indication of the ways Black memory and the commemoration of Black freedom is championed. We look at the roots of the holiday, what has endured – and changed – and some of the ways Juneteenth is exploited. 

An Honorable Profession: Nina Smith on Appealing to Young People and Black Voters

Debbie Cox Bultan and Ryan Coonerty sit down with Nina Smith, a political communications strategist. The conversation addresses the importance of youth engagement, challenges around misinformation in historically marginalized communities, and the importance of empathic messaging that can overcome ideological differences. 

Talkin' Politics & Religion Without Killin' Each Other: DARYL DAVIS: HATE, UNDONE - How 1 Black Man Befriended Members of the KKK and Nurtured Reconciliation

Musician and race reconciliator Daryl Davis, has single-handedly been the impetus for over two hundred White supremacists to renounce their ideology and turn their lives around. As a Black man, Daryl has attended more Ku Klux Klan rallies than most White people and certainly most Blacks. Davis tours around the country and around the world performing musical concerts and giving lectures on race reconciliation, inspiring both racists and non-racists to redirect their positions toward working together.

The Great Battlefield: INSPIRING POLITICAL ACTION THROUGH BLACK HISTORY WITH JULIAN WALKER OF PUSHBLACK

PushBlack is the nation’s largest nonprofit media organization for Black Americans that tell empowering stories on Black life and history that inspire people to take liberating actions in the best interest of Black communities. Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Julian Walker joins The Great Battlefield podcast to talk about his career and how PushBlack is engaging millions of voters through storytelling and black history.

Village SquareCast: Created Equal | Walking Up Hill Both Ways: Black Women & The Fight for Equality

Despite Black women being the anchor for their families, networks, and community, they continue to be disregarded for economic opportunities, dismissed in health care, and deprioritized in society. Black women in America have historically faced an intersectional disadvantage due to both race and gender discrimination, and these challenges continue to persist today.

Politics In Question: What will it take to achieve racial justice in American politics?

Is racial justice possible in America? Or is racism too baked-in to our politics to eliminate? What impact does activism have on American political institutions? Megan Ming Francis joins Julia, Lee, and James to discuss racism and the potential for political reform. She specializes in the study of American politics, with broad interests in criminal punishment, black political activism, philanthropy, and the post-civil war South.

Future Hindsight: #BLM and Hashtag Activism

BlackLivesMatter sprang to life in the aftermath of Treyvon Martin's killing at the hands of George Zimmerman, whose subsequent acquittal of the murder shocked the nation. The success of the Black Lives Matter movement correlates directly with the increased use of the hashtag on social media. As the hashtag grew, so too did the number of Americans reckoning with racial injustice. UNC Professor and author Alice Marwick joined host Mila Atmos in a conversation that explained how politicians should and shouldn't use online platforms.

Democracy Matters: Justice As a House: When the Studs are Rotten, Paint Won’t Fix It

The killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have brought attention to the racist policies and systems that engender violence (both sudden and systemic, physical and attitudinal) against Black people in the United States. The current protests are not just in response to these most recent killings – they are in response to the systemic racism that is woven through our society.

Democracy In Danger: Black and Blue

Law enforcement is among the most undemocratic institutions in America, says New York Times columnist Jamelle Bouie. And the effect this has on communities of color is especially stark. Bouie visits Will and Siva’s class for another live recording with their students, to discuss police brutality, the country’s culture of violence, and the shifting ground of racial oppression in U.S. history.

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