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19 Things To Watch This Juneteenth Weekend

Observe the new federal holiday with movies, series, specials, documentaries, and family programming that celebrate the Black experience in America.

by | June 17, 2022 | Comments

To honor Juneteenth, the new federal holiday that is observed on June 19, networks and streamers have lined up programming this weekend that highlights and celebrates the Black experience in America. The date commemorates the end of slavery in Texas, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect on January 1, 1863.

From documentaries to musical celebrations to empowering family fare, here are 19 shows, specials, and movies you can watch to educate and entertain your family over the holiday weekend.


Coming Sunday, June 19

The Black Pack: Excellence

Where to Watch: The CW, 8/7C
Taye Diggs, Ne-Yo, and Eric Bellinger will commemorate Juneteenth as “The Black Pack” and explore how to celebrate America’s newly acknowledged national holiday while glorifying those that came before. Celebrating Black excellence and culture with a blend of musical and dance performances, the program will feature a star-studded list of special guests including Tank and a performance by Jordin Sparks. The Black Pack also pays tribute to the iconic Sammy Davis Jr. and features a newly-penned Juneteenth anthem.


Where to Watch: Netflix
An intimate vérité look at the life of maverick civil rights attorney Ben Crump and his mission to raise the value of Black life in America. Through the lens of award-winning filmmaker Nadia Hallgren (Becoming), the film follows a year in the life as Crump takes on the civil cases for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Andre Hill. Peeling back the many layers of Crump, Hallgren gives a behind-the-scenes look at his upbringing and his balance of work and family life. Civil also underscores other countless issues Crump is passionate about including environmental justice and banking while Black.


Now Streaming

Juneteenth: Together We Triumph – A ‘Soul of a Nation’ Special Event

BARACK OBAMA, MICHAEL STRAHAN

(Photo by ABC/Jeff Neira)

Where to Watch: Hulu
Produced in 2021, Leslie Odom Jr. hosts two hours of intimate storytelling and powerful tributes with performances by Jimmie Allen, Chloe Bailey (of Chloe x Halle) and Leon Bridges. Good Morning America co-anchor Michael Strahan sits down for a one-on-one interview with former President Barack Obama about race, resilience, and Obama’s book A Promised Land. The program includes stories by ABC News anchors and correspondents: Linsey Davis on allyship and collaboration, Deborah Roberts on Black cuisine, Kenneth Moton on the stimulus package and Black farmers, Janai Norman on a new wave of bold artists, Steve Osunsami on Black business, and Zachary Kiesch with more unaired footage of his “Soul of a Nation” interview with H.E.R.


Where to Watch: Peacock
The film, directed by three-time News Emmy nominee Rachel Boynton (Big Men, Our Brand Is Crisis) who also produced the documentary with Erika Dilday, travels across the United States, exploring how Americans tell the story of their Civil War. Filmed from President Obama’s final year in office through the present, it interweaves insightful scenes and touching interviews filmed North and South, painting a uniquely crafted, multi-faceted portrait of the American psyche and the deep roots of its turbulent times.


Where to Watch: Kanopy and on demand; the film is also being re-released in theaters for the holiday (get tickets)
A former beauty queen turned hardworking single mom prepares her rebellious teenage daughter for the Miss Juneteenth pageant, hoping to keep her from repeating the same mistakes in life that she made. The film stars Nicole Beharie, who earned a Best Actress Gotham Independent Film Award for her performance, Kendrick Sampson, and newcomer Alexis Chikaeze, who earned a Best Supporting Female Actress Independent Spirit Award nomination


SNOOP DOGG'S F*CN AROUND COMEDY SPECIAL

(Photo by Netflix)

Where to Watch: Netflix
Original comedy from Snoop, along with sets from legendary black comedians performing at the Netflix Is a Joke Festival. Featuring: Katt Williams, Mike Epps, Donnell Rawlings, Guy Torry, Melanie Comarcho.


Say It Loud, “Juneteenth: Freedom and the Fine Print”

Where to Watch: PBS Video App and PBS.org
The PBS Digital Studios series celebrates Black culture, context, and history. Hosts Evelyn from the Internets and Victor Jackson give you a comedic take on identity and pop culture, from Black pride movements to Black Twitter shenanigans.


Where to Watch: Netflix
The series takes viewers on a culinary journey that ventures from Africa to the deep south. Adapted from food historian Jessica B. Harris’ book of the same name, the immersive four-episode docuseries — part culinary show, part travelogue — follows food writer Stephen Satterfield as he meets the chefs, historians, and activists who are keeping centuries-old traditions alive. Over Western African stews, soul food, barbecue, and fine dining, the series, directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, reveals an expansive, eclectic culinary history shaped by slavery, the Civil War, Juneteenth, and present day. It’s a story of Black America’s resilience, enduring creativity, and vital contribution to America’s kitchen.


Where to Watch: Fubo and on demand
Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world.


Where to Watch: Netflix
Interweaving lecture, personal anecdotes, interviews, and shocking revelations, criminal defense/civil rights lawyer Jeffery Robinson draws a stark timeline of anti-Black racism in the United States, from slavery to the modern myth of a post-racial America.


Where to Watch: Hulu
The film, from National Geographic Documentary Films partners with filmmaker Dawn Porter, follows award-winning Washington Post journalist and Oklahoma native DeNeen Brown reporting on the search for a mass grave in her native state. Digging into the events that led to one of the worst episodes of racial violence in America’s history, Brown reveals insights into racial conflict incidents that erupted in the early 20th century. Between 1917 and 1923, when Jim Crow laws were at their height and the Ku Klux Klan was resurging across the nation, scores of Black homes and businesses were razed, and hundreds of Black people were lynched and massacred with impunity.


Where to Watch: Netflix
From co-creators Ava DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick, the dramatic limited series chronicles Kaepernick’s coming of age story, tackling the obstacles of race, class and culture as the Black adopted child of a white family. The series stars Jaden Michael as Young Colin before reaching the highest levels of American football as an NFL quarterback and becoming a cultural icon and activist; Nick Offerman and Mary-Louise Parker as his well-meaning parents Rick and Teresa; and Colin Kaepernick himself, who appears as the present-day narrator of his own story, guiding viewers through a robust and colorfully presented array of historical and contemporary contextual moments.


Where to Watch: Disney+
A continuation of the acclaimed series, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder follows the adventures and misadventures of newly 14-year-old Penny Proud and her Proud Family as they navigate modern life with hilarity and heart. The 2020s brings new career highs for mom Trudy, wilder dreams for dad Oscar and new challenges for Penny, including a socially woke neighbor who thinks she has a lot to teach her, bullying social media influencers who want to cancel her and her own teenage hormones. Penny’s friends return, including Dijonay, LaCienega, Zoey and Michael. Penny’s Suga Mama also returns, ready as ever to dispense tough love or a gentle hand whenever Penny needs it. Among the new faces are Maya and KG, new kids who not only have to deal with the struggles of being the new kid but also having two dads, a first for Smithville.


Where to Watch: Hulu
Revisit the story behind the iconic images that shocked the world in 1968. This 2020 film explores the motives, the fallout, and the reverberating repercussions behind John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s gesture on the winners’ podium during the 1968 Olympics.


Where to Watch: Hoopla, Kanopy
The 90-minute documentary challenges one of Americans’ most cherished assumptions: the belief that slavery in this country ended with the Emancipation Proclamation. The film tells how even as chattel slavery came to an end in the South in 1865, thousands of African Americans were pulled back into forced labor with shocking force and brutality.


Fight the Power: The Movements That Changed America

Where to Watch: Apple TV+
Executive produced and narrated by NBA legend and social justice advocate Kareem Abul-Jabbar, and Deborah Morales of Iconomy Multi-Media & Entertainment, the one-hour documentary looks at the impact key movements throughout U.S. history have had in shaping our society, laws, and culture. From the labor movement of the 1880s, women’s suffrage, and civil rights, to the LGBTQ+ and Black Lives Matter movements, protest is in the American DNA and this documentary gives an unfiltered look at the ways it has evolved the world in which we live.


Where to Watch: Netflix
The 2020 film is an intimate look into the life of former First Lady Michelle Obama during a moment of profound change, not only for her personally but for the country she and her husband served over eight impactful years in the White House. The film offers a rare and up-close look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes as she embarks on a 34-city tour that highlights the power of community to bridge our divides and the spirit of connection that comes when we openly and honestly share our stories.


Where to Watch: Disney+

Inspired by the beloved award-winning series of the same name, The Wonder Years is a new original coming-of-age comedy that tells the story of the Williams family during the late 1960s, all through the point of view of imaginative 12-year-old Dean. With the wisdom of his adult years, Dean’s hopeful and humorous recollections of his past spotlight the ups and downs of growing up in a Black middle-class family in Montgomery, Alabama, and the friendship, laughter and lessons along the way.


Where to Watch: Hulu
In his acclaimed debut as a filmmaker, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson presents a powerful and transporting documentary — part music film, part historical record created around an epic event that celebrated Black history, culture and fashion. Over the course of six weeks in the summer of 1969, just one hundred miles south of Woodstock, The Harlem Cultural Festival was filmed in Mount Morris Park (now Marcus Garvey Park). The footage was never seen and largely forgotten — until now. The Academy Award–winning documentary shines a light on the importance of history to our spiritual well-being and stands as a testament to the healing power of music during times of unrest, both past and present. The feature includes never-before-seen concert performances by Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension, and more.

Read Also:
The 123 Best Black Movies of the 21st Century
110 Important Films About the Black Experience
20 Under-the-Radar Black Movies You Should Seek Out


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