It took more than two years after President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 for General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers to enforce the proclamation in Texas and free the remaining slaves on June 19, 1865, officially abolishing slavery. Though not a federal holiday, the date is commemorated all over the country. UCB's Juneteenth — An Emancipation Celebration!, however, isn't a history lesson but a sketch comedy that humorously imagines what might have happened to the slaves after they gained their independence. Cast members Jesse Esparza, Gerald Grissette, Ify Nwadiwe, Carl Tart and Melia Mills, who plays abolitionist and show host Harriet Tubman, perform — even sing spirituals and pop-song covers — in skits that involve a Miss Juneteenth beauty pageant, former slaves at a family reunion and an ex-slave who aspires to be a rapper.
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