Lowcountry Juneteenth is hosting its inaugural celebratory week of educational and entertainment events June 14-20 powered by Chucktown Media & Promotions and Acts of Kindness, USA. As the Official Juneteenth Festival of the Lowcountry, an outdoor bash will serve as the main event featuring a live concert with Tony! Toni! Tone!, Raheem DeVaughn, Lacee, Lebrado and more at The Bend June 19.
Lowcountry Juneteenth Week (LJW) celebrates the achievements and history of African-American culture by highlighting black-owned businesses with curated events throughout the city including live performances, exhibits, seminars and other festivities. The weeklong celebration will feature the best in summer entertainment with a special tribute to the legendary Anita Baker and a theatrical play, Illusions, featuring Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married’s Tony Grant. LJW will also focus on economic empowerment by presenting seminars that focus on health and wellness, real estate, financial freedom, legal matters and entrepreneurship.
“Although Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery, many have never heard of the holiday,” says event co-founder Latisha Manigault. “We want to educate our community about its importance and make sure it gets the recognition it deserves.”
In an effort to bring more recognition to this holiday, there will be unique cultural activations for ethnically diverse audiences to experience the art of sweet grass, an exhibit of century old slave artifacts, a fine dining culinary experience with Celebrity Chef Carlos Brown and a children’s day featuring nonprofits Every 1 Voice Matters and Acts of Kindness, USA. Presenters will include Making a Difference, Inc., Charleston Music Hall, the ZD Experience, Black Diamond & Friends, Dennis L. King, George Bryant and Morowa Mosai.
The festival also welcomes Ms. Opal Lee, 94-year-old community activist, who has long advocated for a national celebration of Juneteenth. Celebrities like Usher, Diddy, Lupita Nyong’o, Jamie Foxx and others have also expressed support for her efforts. “It’s a privilege to have Ms. Opal as part of our programming,” says event co-founder Cedric Smalls. “We have a responsibility to amplify the Juneteenth holiday in our community like never before. Ms. Opal’s efforts have garnered over a million signatures to make Juneteenth a nationally recognized federal holiday and is a testament of why we should honor our ancestors and showcase their contributions.”
The summer celebration is sponsored by Avery Institute, Avery Research Center, Attorney Thad Doughty and Tito’s Vodka. LJW is also endorsed by Dr. Elizabeth Castle, regional director of SC Juneteenth and Steve Williams, president of Juneteenth National Observance Foundation. For more information on ticket sales, events, sponsorships and how to sign up for the Black Business Directory, visit lowcountryjuneteenthweek.com.