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  • Rayshaun

A Juneteenth for US and by US!

Hey friends! The REALEMN team got a chance to commemorate Juneteenth with The Broadway League this past weekend! The league and members of the Black Broadway community gathered for the third year of Broadway Celebrates Juneteenth at Duffy Square in Times Square and the folx came out and had a time!

The blickity Black and celebratory event began with opening remarks from Chief Diversity Officer of the Broadway League, Gennean Scott and was quickly followed by some powerhouse performances from Black Broadway performers including Aaron James Mckenzie (A Beautiful Noise), Rachel Webb, Veronica Otim, Lorna Courtney and Kim Onah (&Juliet) and Antoine L Smith (MJ the Musical).

Like any Black Pride event, the musical numbers had to begin with a rendition of Lift Every Voice. performed by Rashad McPherson and the Juneteenth Celebration Band. Kids from Broadway also performed a Black classic version of Be Optimistic that had the crowd overjoyed and up on their feet, okay?! The children are our future!

The event also honored and presented the 2023 Juneteenth Legacy Award to the legendary, Tony Award-winning director, Kenny Leon! The team pulled out all the stops for this presentation and surprised Legend Leon with a performance from Tony-nominated actress, NaTasha Yvette Williams! Kenny’s acceptance speech had the crowd touched as he reflected on his career and opportunities working with fellow icons, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Ruby Dee just to name a few!

It was an afternoon that had all involved filled with pride and joy. And just when we didn’t think we could get enough, yet another musical number was performed by Melody Betts of the highly anticipated revival of The Wiz coming to the broad way in 2024! The event was quite the celebration for our Black Broadway community. It provided the REAL reason for our remembrance of this particular day. We thank The Broadway League and its chairs, Brian Moreland, Aaliytha Stevens, and the rest of the team for gathering us in fellowship for such a joyous occasion. Happy Juneteenth!! Stay Black, and stay REAL, y’all!

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