If you missed last night’s season premiere of Black-ish, then you missed a whole history lesson on Juneteenth — in musical form.
That’s right, Schoolhouse Rock! had nothing on Black-ish last night as the show covered how slavery impacted the U.S. and the aftermath of emancipation. With music contributions from The Roots, it’s no surprise the episode pumped out some fire tracks that we took the time to rank in hopes of a Black-ish Juneteenth mixtape. What better way to teach the kids of the future?
4. “What About Juneteenth?”
The lovable youngest kids of the show spit fire on the realities of Christopher Columbus — a man responsible for enslaving and killing thousands of Native Americans. You can watch them rhyme over a full-fledged hip hop beat here.
3. “I’m Just a Slave”
Juneteenth is a historic day that gets little attention in the U.S. In a bluesy animated clip, Black-ish brings in The Roots to describe the day slave emancipation news finally reached Texas — two years after the Emancipation Proclamation.
2. “We Built This”
There’s a ton of stuff in the U.S. that was built by slaves and Black-ish made sure the history didn’t go under the rug. The family vents over a soulful track to let it be known that slaves built everything from railroads, to universities, to The White House.
The Black-ish musical ends with quite a show stopper, complete with a funky beat and catchy lines. The cast gives their version of the slave’s emancipation, singing about all their dreams once they taste freedom. The song is aspirational, considering the problems we still have in the U.S. today, but it sure gives off an abundance of hope.