On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. But it wasn’t until June 19, 1865, nearly three years later, that a union general arrived in Galveston, Texas with news of the end of the Civil War.
As there were no Union troops on the ground to enforce Lincoln’s proclamation, Texas was virtually unaffected by it. Therefore, after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the arrival of the formidable Union regiment in Texas, the last of the slaves were finally freed on that day in June, now known as Juneteenth.
Friday, Juneteenth marks the oldest national commemoration of the end of slavery in the U.S. In honor of African-American independence, we are excited to take this opportunity to celebrate and learn more about the extensive contributions of Black composers and musicians to the classical music canon! We hope you’ll join us in honor of this historic event.
As we take part in a national conversation about the systemic racism that still exists in society, we wanted to take time to celebrate the artistry of Black musicians and composers in the classical music world. Below is a playlist of selections we’re featuring throughout the day so you can listen any time and delve further into the work of these artists.
You can also find Classical Host Jennifer Reason's interview with violinist Chase Spruill here.