Blog Special

June 19th is just a normal day for most Americans. You might be at work, enjoying the summer break, or you might be a part of something called Juneteenth. But what is Juneteenth? Why is it important and why do so many people, especially African Americans, celebrate it? We can use music, stories, and voices of the 1860s to find out.

Written, Produced, and Hosted by Jecorey Arthur

Additional Voice-Over by Kyeland Jackson

Interview with Ms. Laura Smalley (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Interview with Mr. Wallace Quarterman (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)

Interview with Mr. Fountain Hughes (Courtesy of the Library of Congress)



“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” a traditional spiritual, from Five Folksongs in Counterpoint, arranged by Florence B. Price, and performed by Apollo Chamber Players

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” a traditional spiritual, from Classical Roots 2014, arranged by Harry T. Burleigh, and performed by Adrienne Danrich with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra led by conductor John Morris Russell

“Go Down Moses” a traditional spiritual, performed by Soulful Symphony

“Battle Cry of Freedom” from Lincoln, composed by George Frederick Root, arranged by John Williams, and performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

“Michael Row the Boat Ashore” a traditional spiritual, from Great Folk Themes by Percy Faith & His Orchestra

“Piano Sonata No.3 Op.5” composed by Johannes Brahms and performed by Helene Grimaud

“Marching Through Georgia” composed by Henry Clay Work, arranged by J.P Sousa, and performed by the President’s Own United States Marine Band

“Symphony No. 1” composed by Antonin Dvořák and performed by the Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra led by Vladimir Valek

“Uncompleted quartet in B flat Major. I. Adagio misterioso. Allegro con moto” composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and performed by Petersburg Philharmonic Quartet

“The Legacy: An Overture of African American Spirituals” conducted and arranged by Julius Williams with the Berklee Jubilee Celebration Orchestra