Today is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the abolition of slavery in the state of Texas in 1865. Though not officially an American holiday, many African Americans, particularly in the South, celebrate Juneteenth with gatherings, events, and festivals. At the Carver Library in San Antonio, “Good Times” star Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma Evans) will be a guest at the Juneteenth Book Festival this weekend.
With such an important day, one would think that television–at the very least, TV One or BET–might mention Juneteenth, right? That there might be a 30 or 60 minute special discussing the important day, reflecting back on African-American history, with a handful of talking heads opining on how far the country has come?
Maybe there might be information regarding where you can create or join Juneteenth events?
Hell, are they at least showing “Roots?”
Nope. TV One’s important slate of programming on Saturday includes marathons of shows such as “All of Us,” “Good Times,” “Sanford & Son” and “That’s My Mama.” As for BET, it’s much of the same, with what looks like a marathon of “The Game” lasting all day and night.
Sure, it’s Saturday, and that’s typically when networks throw on their check-your-brain-at the-door programming. But on Juneteenth, a day some term as Emancipation Day, entertainment channels have once again missed a golden opportunity to teach and inform their viewers of an important day in American history.
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Michael Langston Moore also writes for the BOSTON TV EXAMINER column.
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