A concert by “American Idol” winner and future University of Tennessee at Chattanooga faculty member Ruben Studdard will highlight a Juneteenth celebration at the University.
A collaboration between UTC and the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas, the free event starts at 7 p.m. Sun., June 19, on Chamberlain Field. It will open with a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.
“It is the tradition of the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas: Juneteenth Independence Day to ask a prominent Black person from our community to do the reading,” said Ricardo Morris, founder and CEO of Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas.
This year, the proclamation will be read by UTC Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement Stacy Lightfoot.
“The Division of Diversity and Engagement supports the mission of UTC by inspiring positive change, creating a more inclusive and welcoming campus, engaging students, faculty and staff in meaningful experiences through campus and community partnerships,” Lightfoot said.
“This celebration underscores our commitment to diversity and inclusion and is a significant way to acknowledge the historical context and persistent effects of slavery in America.”
Lightfoot’s reading will be followed by a choral performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing”–known as the Black National Anthem–in an arrangement written by UTC Professor Emeritus Roland Carter and now considered the standard arrangement at most historically Black colleges and universities.
Several other civil rights anthems also will be performed, followed by the concert by Studdard. Starting fall semester 2022, Studdard will teach two courses, one on the commercial side of the music business and one on the performing side.
Following the concert, Knoxville’s African drumming and dance troupe Indigenous Vibes will perform.
Various food trucks will be at Chamberlain Field for the celebration.
For more information on other Juneteenth events organized by the Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas, go to: https://www.blackartsandideasfest.com.