This Friday, June 19th, is the annual holiday Juneteenth, which celebrates the abolition of slavery in the United States. As recorded by historian Elizabeth Hayes Turner, Juneteenth was initially viewed as, “an occasion for gathering lost family members, measuring progress against freedom and inculcating rising generations with the values of self-improvement and racial uplift” (full PBS article available here). Sadly, the tragic killing of George Floyd and the ongoing unconscionable acts and statements of racism and intolerance demonstrate how far we are from achieving a society that is just, equitable and safe for all.
Like so many others in our country and throughout the world, we at TRTC are experiencing grief, anger and anxiety. We are looking deeply at how we contribute to systemic racism. We are reflecting on how we can do better. And we are opening our hearts and listening to those who need and deserve to be heard.
In support of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black and Brown communities, we have taken several actions. Rehearsals of “The Pink Unicorn” were cancelled on #BlackoutTuesday (June 2), a collective action organized by the music, dance and performance community to protest racism and police brutality. Our current online production, “The Pink Unicorn,” overtly addresses oppression and is a beautiful and uplifting call to action for acceptance and love. Lastly, theatre operations will be ceased for the day this Friday in acknowledgement of this important holiday and for a day of reflection.
Please join with us to consider how each of us individually can help manifest a community and a world that both recognizes, and celebrates, our differences while uplifting one another in the spirit of our shared humanity.
Corey, the TRTC Staff and Board of Directors