Juneteenth is the oldest known holiday commemorating the end of American Slavery. On July 4,
1776, liberty was only granted to a certain group of individuals. For a large portion of the
American population, freedom would not come for nearly 100 years. The Emancipation
Proclamation took effect January 1st, 1863; however, the last slaves were not freed until June
19, 1865, a full two and a half years later. While Black History month focuses on the expanse of
history regarding people of color, Juneteenth is solely dedicated to celebrating the
emancipation of slaves.
While the initial plan for Juneteenth Jubilee 2020 was to be full of activities that would allow
community members to join in the celebration by walking in the Freedom March through
downtown Louisville, shopping at the Old Walnut Street Vendor Market or just relaxing and
enjoying performances throughout the day on the waterfront, However those plans were cut
short due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. In light of the current state of our city, and in
consideration of the guidelines set forth by government, the committee decided to preserve
the integrity and consistency of this holiday! Rather than completely forgoing the event,
Waterfront Park has partnered with Louisville Metro Council, The Black Community
Development Corporation and Actor’s Theatre of Louisville to create a virtual celebration:
Juneteenth Jubilee 2020 Docuseries.
Juneteenth Jubilee 2020 DocuSeries will consist of seven (7) episodes that will air each Friday evening at
7:00 pm from June 19th-August 7th on various platforms. Each week’s episode will
be approximately fifteen (15) minutes in length and will consist of entertainment, as well as educational
content that captures the celebratory nature of the historical Juneteenth event.
EPISODE 1: WAR
Main Negro Spiritual: Down by the Riverside by JD Green
Story: On April 12, 1861, Confederates bombarded Union soldiers at Fort Sumter and
black soldiers turned away from fighting.
EPISODE 2: EMANCIPATION
Main Negro Spiritual: We Shall Overcome by Jason Clayborn
Story: On September 22, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation
EPISODE 3: SURRENDER
Main Negro Spiritual: Go Down Moses by Chanson Calhoun
Story: On April 9, 1865, Confederate General in Chief, Robert E. Lee surrendered.
EPISODE 4: NEWS
Main Negro Spiritual: O’ Freedom by Pat Mathison
Story: On June 19, 1865, Union Army General Gordon Granger read aloud the contents
of “General Order No. 3”, announcing the total emancipation of those held as slaves.
EPISODE 5: FEAST
Main Negro Spiritual: Free at Last by Jamesse
Story: Former slave, Laura, recalls a feast on Juneteenth.
EPISODE 6: REALITY
Main Negro Spiritual: Wade in the Water by Sheryl Rouse
Story: Some cities ban the celebration of Juneteenth and neo-slavery continues.
EPISODE 7: HOLIDAY
Story: A national movement works to make Juneteenth a holiday