Juneteenth Celebration (Part 2): Inspiration from Reign, King Shakur, and ShySpeaks


The Latham community continues our conversation about Juneteenth following our June 21st virtual celebration and commemoration. Today we highlight three contributors to Monday’s celebration –- Reign, King Shakur, and ShySpeaks.

Reign is a Dallas native and activist who leads much volunteer work and owns Brown Sugar Lounge. He is an artist with a passion to learn, to teach, and to serve. Following Reign’s dynamic performance Monday, we met King Shakur, author of Streetlights, J’s and Hip-Hop: Makings of a Poet. In his book, “King Shakur invokes memories of family and community that will cause readers to stand up and snap.” He had Latham event attendees snapping and clapping – especially when he read his poem entitled “Muffled Voices” from the perspective of the youth. One line was particularly poignant: “We need you to be our GPS because WE MATTER.”

Following 30 minutes of dynamic poetry from GNO, Reign, and King Shakur, Juneteenth Committee members played ShySpeaks’ video. With great enthusiasm, she recorded the clip for Latham Centers’ Juneteenth event, asking the audience to sway with her; to feel the music and hear the words.

ShySpeaks said, “Be the revolution that this world still needs to see, signed, ShySpeaks.” The tone of her 11-minute performance was empowerment; we should celebrate the successes but cannot rest, “not now, no, not now.”

ShySpeaks’ awe-inspiring spoken word performance, which includes both singing and dancing, is available here:

ShySpeaks, a hip-hop and spoken word artist, said she’s “on a mission to re-infuse positivity and spirituality in urban culture… Latham Centers, make some noise!” she said. To learn more about her, visit our June 16th blog post.

Latham Centers is so grateful to our Juneteenth Committee for bringing our community together to commemorate and celebrate!

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