ABC to air ‘Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming’ special Friday

Whoopi Goldberg and several ABC News personalities will celebrate Juneteenth during a new TV special. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

June 18 (UPI) — ABC will honor Juneteenth in a new TV special.

The network said in a press release Tuesday that it will air “Juneteenth: A Celebration of Overcoming” Friday at 9 p.m. ET.

“A Celebration of Overcoming” is a one-hour special featuring “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg, ABC “News Live Prime” anchor Linsey Davis, “Nightline” co-anchor Byron Pitts and ABC News correspondents Deborah Roberts, TJ Holmes, Steve Osunsami and Janai Norman. The group will report from Tulsa, Okla., Galveston, Texas, and other cities across the country.

Juneteenth is a holiday celebrating the end of slavery in America. The special will examine the symbolism of Juneteenth among the black community and around the nation.

“Juneteenth is a day celebrated and commemorated around the country by millions of Americans,” executive producer Catherine McKenzie said. “For a lot of people, including myself, it’s a day of serious reflection and observance of the struggles of all those who came before us. For some, it’s also a time to look forward at the struggles that still exist and have hope for the future.”

“A Celebration of Overcoming” will explore the history of Juneteenth and examine its legacy through the current lens of national unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 in Minneapolis, Minn., while being restrained by a police officer who knelt on his neck.

Goldberg discussed systemic racism in the U.S. on “Watch What Happens Live” this week, saying police officers must relearn “how to police.”

Live Nation Urban and LiveXLive will also host a Juneteenth event Friday. “Lift Every Voice: A Juneteenth Special,” will feature Charlamagne the God, Common, T.I. and other stars.


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