Contrary to what Donald Trump would like to believe, Juneteenth has a long history. It is, in fact, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slaver in the United States. It is celebrated on June 19th annually, recognizing the day that the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation (which had been put into place two and a half years prior) was felt within rural parts of Texas. But this year, with the ongoing Black Lives Matter protest and reignited conversations about race in this country, it has been celebrated with renewed vigor.
In two weeks, the Intersectional Voices Collective put together a Junetheenth Jubilee in Harlem.The event saw a variety of speeches, a tap dance circle, a march, and a string of performances including spoken word, singing by Mila Jam and Lolita Leopard, as well as voguing.
"Juneteenth is a celebration of Black people gaining control of their narrative," event organizer Phillip Henry tells Out. "Our perseverance as a people has been aided by being able to create art and through channeling joy as an act of resistance. We in the Intersectional Voices Collective wanted to create a protest and march that honored and represented that truth by centering Black queer and trans lives on a day that is a foundational part of American history. The Juneteenth Jubilee was that protest."