Artists Unite Commemorates Juneteenth With Film And Music

Artists Unite Commemorates Juneteenth With Film And Music

5:02pm Jun 19, 2019
Filmmaker and musician Blitz Bazawule, aka Blitz the Ambassador. His film "The Burial of Kojo" will be screened Thursday, June 20, 2019, at The Ramkat. It's part of the Artists Unite celebration that aims to commemorate Juneteenth through an exploration of culture and arts. Photo courtesy: One Rpm Studios.

Artists Unite is bringing creative people from around the globe to The Ramkat in downtown Winston-Salem this Thursday and Friday to mark the Juneteenth celebration.

Juneteenth commemorates the announcement to abolish slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers arrived in Galveston, Texas, spreading the word that the war had ended and slaves were now free.

Musicians appearing at Artists Unite include Alfred Clements from the worlds of R&B and Gospel, and rapper Demi Day. There’s also a screening of a film that’s been getting some critical praise.

It’s called The Burial of Kojo. Filmmaker Blitz Bazawule — aka Blitz the Ambassador — made the film in Ghana with an all-Ghanaian cast and crew. Noted for its color rich visual palette, the movie will be followed by a discussion with the filmmaker, moderated by Dr. Melva Sampson from Wake Forest Divinity School and Dr. Kimya Dennis from Salem College.

Blitz the Ambassador, who was born in Ghana but grew up in Brooklyn, New York, will perform with a musical ensemble the following night.

Darrick Young is one of the organizers of Artists Unite. He says they have a clear goal in mind.

“The city’s tagline is ‘city of arts and innovation.’ Some see that tagline being exercised or put forward; some kind of beg to differ," says Young. "Our goal is to really make Winston-Salem and Forsyth County a cultural hub.”

This is the first Artists Unite that’s connected with Juneteenth. The last one was held in 2016 on the inauguration of President Trump. Part of the significance of the association is that this year marks the 400th anniversary of the first African slaves in Virginia. 

Eddie Garcia:


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