Understanding The History and Significance of Juneteenth

Juneteenth’s formalization as a federal holiday is long overdue. 19 June 1865 marked two months after the Confederacy’s surrendering, effectively enacting the Emancipation Proclamation in Texas (though it had been law for two years), and thus freeing the slaves there. Nearly 100 years later, in 1980, Texas adopted the day as a state holiday, but many call it “merely symbolic.” Since, 40+ states have moved …

Interview: Sheldon Scott on His Powerful 13-Hour Performance Portrait

An intimate depiction of the daily life of his enslaved ancestors creates space to heal, respond, and understand the institution's place in today's society

Artist (and Eaton DC Culture Director) Sheldon Scott‘s “portrait, number 1 man,” is the first-ever performed portrait included in the Outwin Boochever Competition Exhibition, hosted annually at the National Portrait Gallery. This year’s other entries—which follow the gallery’s prompt: to respond to the current political and social context—include a stop-motion drawing, oil work and photographs. And while they’re all noteworthy for their own particular traits, …