Shine a Light: Biden’s Juneteenth Concert Targets Black Voters


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By Joseph Williams, Word in Black

At a star-studded White House concert, Biden reminded Black voters why they should back him again — including the fact that he made Juneteenth a national holiday.

By now, it’s considered conventional wisdom: Black voters aren’t feeling President Joe Biden like they used to. Sagging poll numbers have led him to spend time highlighting his accomplishments important to Black Americans — from choosing Vice President Kamala Harris, an HBCU grad, as his vice president to appointing Ketanji Brown Jackson as the first Black female Supreme Court justice

The president’s sales pitch to Black voters took on a different dimension Monday, when the White House threw a party to celebrate Juneteenth early, which Biden made al federal holiday in 2021. 

Part backyard cookout, concert, and campaign rally, the event commemorated June 19, 1865, the day enslaved Black people in Texas learned about the Emancipation Proclamation. Emceed by comedian Roy Wood Jr., the event featured a star-studded lineup of Black musicians, from old-school rapper Doug E. Fresh to emerging country music singer-songwriter Brittney Spencer to soul legends Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight. 

But the subtext behind the celebration was a highly visible, not-too-subtle reminder of why Black people should vote for Biden again — starting with the reason for the celebration itself.

“The White House lawn has never seen anything like this before,” said Biden, adding he was “proud to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.” 

Keep reading to learn what Biden said about Black history.

Learn about Black history here.

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