It’s a celebration fr fr! For the second year, Juneteenth National Independence Day aka Juneteenth — which commemorates the unofficial end of slavery here in America — is being officially recognized as a national holiday.
“We must understand that Juneteenth represents not only the commemoration of the end of slavery in America more than 150 years ago, but the ongoing work to have to bring true equity and racial justice into American society,” said President Joe Biden after he signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, establishing June 19th as federal holiday.
It wasn’t that long ago that Ye reminded us listeners that “racism is still alive.” And boy, was Mr. West right. Just think about the recent increase in hate crimes such as racially-motivated mass shootings that have taken place in churches and supermarkets or the everyday interactions with “Karens” that go viral or how COVID-19 disproportionately impacted certain communities.
These are just a few of the constant reminders for so many Black Americans that their Blackness is simply inescapable. That Blackness is, however, also bold and beautiful and artists from Beyoncé to Billie Holiday have made sure to remind the world of that.
Way before Juneteenth was celebrated across the country, African-American artists had been using their music and platforms to shed light on their people’s struggles, culture, achievements, beauty and heritage. “Say it loud! I’m Black and I’m proud,” said James Brown with his 1968 hit “Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud.”
From showing love to Black girls that rock and neighborhood hustlers who have upped it to boss status, classic songs and contemporary bops have spoken to the richness and diversity of Black culture. With statements like fuck the police and we gon’ be alright, leading musicians have straight up confronted the plethora of inequalities, injustices and other unjust realities that have plagued certain Americans since the birth of this nation.
In honor of Juneteenth, ONE37pm put together a playlist of songs that pay tribute to the resilience and creative spirit of the Black community. Our 2022 Juneteenth Playlist is comprised of anthems crafted by icons such as Nina Simone, Marvin Gay, Aretha Franklin and Jay-Z, as well as contemporary hit-makers like J. Cole, Polo G, Meek Mill, Joey Bada$$ and Kendrick Lamar.
Vibe out, turn up and reflect with this collection of songs celebrating Black history, Black culture and Black progression.