I found Miss Juneteenth to be a touching, charming and poignant movie. Although it saddened me to watch an authentic story about what black American life is for some, it was also heart-warming and sends a strong message to people of all colour.
This historical annual pageant has a long tradition in many black American communities. It is in recognition of the slaves in Texas and when Miss Juneteenth began 19 June 1865. Two years after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation declared all enslaved people in rebellion against the Union “shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free”. Slavery ended in the United States, is an integral part of black history and resonates with events that are happening right now in the USA.
For many young black American women today, it also means a way of gaining a full scholarship into any black institution, an opportunity for further education and a promising future.
Written and directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples we are taken into a world of a single mother, Turquoise Jones who won me over from the beginning. Beautifully acted by Nicole Beharie in her undeniable role as mother to her rebellious daughter Kai, (Alexis Chikaeze).
Kai is resistant to following her mother’s dream who herself was once a bona fide beauty queen and crowned Miss Juneteenth. Turquoise’s dream ended before it was realised and she struggled to come to terms with this as she strived in her uncertain world to make ends meet. She was determined her daughter would not end up like her with an apparent diminishing future.
Yet life has a way of working things out for this black working-class woman who lives in Fort Worth Texas. Her character was magnetic and inspirational. What with the disappointment in her separated husband (Kendrick Sampson), false hopes, financial struggles and love conflicts, mother and daughter seem to work it out even though it was not according to the original plan.
The thick Texan charm radiates as this soulful story progresses. It is full of passion, caring, chasing dreams, determination and finally a realistic understanding of what a positive future could be. The message, you don’t have to be Miss Juneteenth and you don’t have to be black, it affects us all and we can do something about it.
Production Crew and Cast
Director & Screenplay: Channing Godfrey Peoples
Actors: Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, Alexis Chikaeze, Akron E Watson, Liz Mikel, Marcus Mauldin, Stacey A Sheffield, Lisha Hackney, Phyllis Cicero
Music: Emily Rice
Release date in Australian cinemas 8 October 2020
On the birth of her two grandsons, Ruth Greening experienced an awakening in her life and entering Gen GP (Generation Grandparent) she was given the moniker Nanny Babe as her ‘grandmother’ title. She found things had changed since her child rearing days, and an adjustment to new parenting concepts was required. Hence the birth of the Nanny Babe blog from a baby boomers perspective.
Ruth holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & Philosophy, completing this degree while working as a hairdresser and supporting her two children as a single mother. Ruth has worked in the corporate world for approximately thirty years and has recently retired to address her artistic passions.
She is experienced in senior management positions, marketing, modelling, commercials, film, community radio and writing.
Nanny Babe is active with her hobbies—fitness, writing, blogging, jewellery, crafts, singing, dancing, memoirs, mentoring and now faces diversity and self-discovery on her recent ‘retirement’ path. Connect with Nanny Babe on her blog – hit the link above!