Patriot Acts

Happy Juneteenth! June 19, 1865 became known as Juneteenth, after the last of the slaves, those in Texas, were finally free. Although President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation dates back to September 1862, and took effect the following January, the last of the states to finally emancipate slaves was Texas. In Texas, Juneteenth has  been an official state holiday since 1980.  There are currently 42 states and the District of Columbia which recognize Juneteenth as either a state holiday or special day of observance.

For many, reading The Emancipation Proclamation has become the traditional Juneteenth celebration. I hope that more Americans are considering the importance of Juneteenth. As we grapple with current definitions and interpretations of freedom and the challenges we must meet in today’s world, I often look to inspiring acts of patriotism from the world of the arts and culture. Creativity comes from freedom. American arts and culture is replete with what I like to call, “patriot acts”. These works, a tiny sampling here, are inspired and inspiring, and invite us to celebrate as well as create more “patriot acts”. I’m sure you will find many, many more to enjoy as well.

Ray Charles, America the Beautiful

Aaron Copland, Fanfare for the Common Man

Dylan Smith
Trumpet BM Degree Recital
Eastman School of Music
April 3, 2010

“America”-West Side Story, (1961) Rita Moreno, George Chakiris

Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954-55

Billy Holiday-Strange Fruit

Joffrey: Mavericks of American Dance-American Masters

Richie Havens-Freedom (Woodstock 1969)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s