Smithsonian Channel™ announces a series of powerful original video essays to commemorate Juneteenth, honoring the emancipation of the last remaining enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy on June 19, 1865. The essays are from prominent and emerging writers, artists, activists, community leaders and teachers reflecting on Juneteenth and how this consequential moment in American history deeply resonates today. Three of the video essays (Christopher Emdin, Jason Reynolds, Maimouna Youssef) will air on the Smithsonian Channel, with the rest being featured on the channel’s social platforms.
The essayists include the following:
- Christopher Emdin is a tenured faculty member in the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he serves as Associate Director of the Edmund Gordon Institute for Urban and Minority Education. He is creator of the Science Genius Project and the #HipHopEd social media movement and author of the New York Times bestseller, For White Folks Who Teach In The Hood.. and the Rest of Y’all Too. His next book, Ratchetdemic: Reimagining Academic Success will be published in August 2021.
- Jason Ford, is the founder of FeedMagnet, a B2B software company and most recently he helped launch ICON, a company working to end homelessness by 3D printing homes from concrete.
- Jason Reynolds is an award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author. His many books include Miles Morales: Spider Man, the Track series (Ghost, Patina, Sunny, and Lu), Long Way Down, which received a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor, and a Correta Scott King Honor, and Look Both Ways, which was a National Book Award Finalist. His latest book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, is a collaboration with Ibram X. Kendi. Reynolds is the 2020-2021 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and is on faculty at Lesley University in the Writing for Young People MFA Program. He lives in Washington, DC.
- Nic Stone is an Atlanta native who strives to bring diverse voices and stories to readers. Her YA novels Dear Martin and Dear Justyce and her debut middle-grade novel, Clean Getaway, were all New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of Odd One Out, Jackpot, and the Black Panther novels Shuri and Shuri: The Vanished, as well as the soon to be published Blackout and Fast Pitch. All of her novels have been widely embraced by children and adults and have received numerous accolades and awards.
- Maimouna Youssef aka Mumu Fresh is a Grammy-nominated, Indigenous Music award winning, Musical Ambassador for the US State Department, an elected governor of The DC Chapter of The Recording Academy and an Ambassador of The Black Music Collective. Mumu Fresh has toured internationally as a critically acclaimed Afro-Indigenous singer, emcee, songwriter, activist, workshop facilitator and audio engineer who’s been called a “quadruple threat” by The Roots’ Black Thought and “groundbreaking” by Oscar-winning artist, Common.
Elissa Rubin, Dane Joseph and James Blue serve as Smithsonian Channel executive producers.
The Smithsonian Channel also will air episodes of the CBS News produced series BOILING POINT and on Juneteenth itself, a special block of curated programming showcasing the Black experience will run Saturday, June 19th from 1pm – 11pm ET/PT.
BOILING POINT is a six-part, immersive documentary series that reexamines America’s troubled history of systemic racism and police brutality over the decades. Through firsthand stories and riveting footage from the CBS News vaults – from the “Bloody Sunday” attack to George Floyd’s murder, the series takes an unflinching look at racial injustice in our country, reliving acts of civil rights abuse, police brutality, and environmental racism that sparked outrage and caused change.
Images courtesy of the Smithsonian Channel
Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!