Juneteenth: the Black-ish Musical Episode

On the season 4 premiere of Black-ish, we are treated with a musical (Hamilton inspired) based on the oft-forgotten holiday Juneteenth.


Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19ththat the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. (source)


Episode Summary: After getting upset by the twins' Columbus Day school play, Dre decides to take matters into his own hands with a Juneteenth musical. 
One of the musical numbers 'I Am A Slave' performed by The Roots was accompanied by Schoolhouse Rock-esque animation on why Juneteenth is celebrated.


The musical numbers "We Built It" and "Freedom" portray the Johnson family as slaves. "We Built It" comes first, with the elder Johnsons explaining to the younger one that it was slaves who built Chapel Hill, Wall Street, and the White House. Everyday sounds that would have been heard from a slave cabin are used as an intro to the song. Clearly thought was put into the musical numbers.


In the musical number "Freedom" the newly emancipated Johnson family joyfully discuss what they will do with their newfound freedom. While their joy is contagious, the 21st century audience knows that most if not all of their dreams of freedom would not be achieved fully.



I enjoyed the episode. The songs were catchy, the jokes funny, and the history and historical costumes were nicely done for a 22 minute episode. I really enjoyed the episode. Did you watch this episode? If you did what did you think? 

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