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Biden hosts Jennifer Hudson, Wu-Tang’s Method Man at Juneteenth concert

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Joe Biden is hosting the White House’s first big Juneteenth celebration on Tuesday evening, a concert featuring performances by Oscar-winning singer Jennifer Hudson, hip-hop duo Wu-Tang’s Method Man and marching bands from Tennessee and Maryland.

Biden will address guests at the South Lawn event, which the White House has described as a “celebration of community, culture and music.” Other performers include dance group Step Afrika!, singer Ledisi and a Broadway choir.

Juneteenth, a portmanteau of June and 19th, also known as Emancipation Day, was declared a federal holiday in 2021. It commemorates the day in 1865, after the Confederate states surrendered to end the Civil War, when a Union general arrived in Texas to inform a group of enslaved African Americans of their freedom under President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation.

It has been a holiday in Texas since 1980. U.S. presidents dating back to George W. Bush have marked Juneteenth from the White House, often with a somber statement.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)

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