What is being performed?
LA: I think Juneteenth might be the most important celebration in the City of Carson.
AA: What is juneteenth?
LA: Juneteenth is a festival that takes place every year in mid June to celebrate the day the
slaves were freed. I think they were freed on June 13th, but the story goes that the slaves
couldn’t say “June thirteenth” so they said “Juneteenth” and that’s where the festival name
AA: What kind of activities happen at Juneteenth festivals?
LA: There’s a lot of food. A lot of Watermelon. A lot of children, African dancing to remind you of
your roots, and jazz music.
AA: Where do Juneteenth festivals usually take place?
LA: They are almost always outdoors in parks
AA: Is there any structure to the festivals?
LA: There’s usually an opening ceremony of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” a main event of praise
dance or other African dance styles, and a closing where you pray to your ancestors
Why do they know or like this piece? where/who did they learn it from? What does it mean to
AA: Why do you like this piece?
LA: It’s a reminder that freedom can’t be taken for granted.
AA: How did you find out about this festival?
LA: I grew up in Compton and my mother used to take me to Juneteenth. Now, I hear about it
through flyers from the city of Carson.
Context of the performance- where do you perform it? History?
Juneteenth is performed around June 13th annually predominantly in Black communities but
could be found in other places. It’s meant to celebrate the freedom of slaves in America and
give thanks to ancestors that were enslaved and beaten for the freedom of future generations.
Growing up I have been to multiple Juneteenth festivals and see them as a safe space to be
joyous about my culture, black excellence, and African aesthetics. I have participated in praise
dances that usually take part in these events and see this festival as very important festival to
take place in America, especially today.