YSU commemorates Juneteenth in song

YSU commemorates Juneteenth

YSU’s Dana School of Music released today a video performance of “I Know Where I’ve Been” in celebration of Juneteenth, commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States.

“All of us were able to collectively use our voices to empathize with those who have suffered systemic injustices in our country and around the world while using art and music as a vehicle to listen, understand and transform a society that demands significant change for equality,” said Daniel Keown, assistant professor of Vocal Music Education.

The video features Jaron LeGrair, YSU adjunct professor of Voice and director of the YSU Gospel Choir, singing the popular song from the musical Hairspray, joined by members of Voices of YSU, a vocal ensemble of a diverse group of YSU students focused on artistic exploration, musical excellence and impactful creative-based social initiatives that serve the community.

Keown, who directs the Voices of YSU, said that Chaste Chapman, one of the Voice members, said on Sunday night as the group was recording the song: “It is now our time and our generation that needs to make a change regarding the injustices that keep happening to people of color. I know where I’ve been, and I know my own experiences. This song is not just about our generation – of knowing where we’ve been, but it’s also about understanding where our ancestors have been.”

Juneteenth, also called Freedom Day, is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the last remaining African-American slaves were officially freed, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect.