10 Songs for Your Juneteenth Celebration
By L.G. Parker
It’s ironic that I’m sharing a Juneteenth playlist after the attack on Emanuel AME. How might I suggest that you celebrate the June 19, 1865 emancipation from slavery when you’ve just witnessed a terrorist attack on a Black institution?
I suggest that this is the queerness of black celebration. Even as we celebrate, there are things that remind us that we shouldn’t. It’s the ache that makes the smile brighter, the dance stronger. Which calls to mind the life of joy, what comes before and afterwards that might lead us to re-imagine it.
In the South in particular, there are celebrations of Juneteenth every year.
I’ve witnessed these primarily as cookouts. During those hours, somebody’s uncle fries fish and babies waddle through grass almost as tall as them. Mosquitoes tear your legs up, aunties do their dance with a red cup in one hand and the world is still the world, your cousin still locked up, somebody kills somebody black, but the music is right so the work of forgetting is made easier and you arrive at something like joy.
1. Earth, Wind, and Fire – September
2. Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
3. Chaka Khan — Tell Me Something Good
4. Earth, Wind, and Fire – Sing A Song
5. Carl Carlton – She’s A Bad Mama Jama
6. Maze feat. Frankie Beverly – Before I Let Go
7. Commodores – Brick House
8. Rick James – Give It To Me
9. E.U. – Da Butt
10. V.I.C – Wobble Baby