December 31, 2008

Two Young Filmmakers Challenge Power 92 Juneteenth Celebration

“The Truth Behind Juneteenth: A Paradox of Freedom”
A great film done in the style of Jay Leno's "On the street" interview.
Thanks to Dr. Richard M. Cooper, WURD Radio host, Fridays at 1 pm, for bringing attention to this film.

This story sort of fell under the radar in 2008, but hopefully things will change in 2009 in regards to Little Rock, Arkansas Power 92's (KIPR) Juneteenth Celebration.

Juneteenth is a "holiday" to celebrate the end of slavery that didn't occur until 1865, nearly two years after the 1863 Emanicpation Proclamation, simply because people were not informed that slavery had ended in the Confederate states. This celebration many say first happened in Galveston, Texas, while others say it occured in Wilmer, Arkansas.

What has Power 92 done to this celebration? Well they have turned it into a Hip Hop Concert event similar to Hot 97's Summer Jam or Power Jams that many other "Power" radio stations hold.

From the Arkansas Times:

It's June, which means it'll soon be time again for Power 92's massive, traffic-halting Juneteenth concert, which draws upwards of 12,000 rap and hip-hop fans annually to the Riverfest Amphitheatre. Not everyone in Little Rock's black community is gleefully clutching their tickets and picking out their concert outfit, however.
In their documentary “The Truth Behind Juneteenth: A Paradox of Freedom,” first-time directors Darrell Scott and Julian Walker take aim at Power 92's all-day concert. They contend that concert organizers have misused the name “Juneteenth,” turning something that should be revered into just another marketing ploy.

Read the rest of the article>>

Power 92 needs to adjust their thinking when it comes to more or less exploiting a celebration. They need to think about what will best serve the Little Rock community.

Find some time to watch the film, while you enjoy your black eye peas. ...and think about where that tradition came from.

Happy New Year!

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