President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris will be hosting this year’s Black History Month Celebration which will be virtual because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Singer-songwriter Anthony Hamilton and the St. Augustine Choir will headline the event, while the Biden/Harris address Black America during the festivities will also take center stage.
Usually, the annual event takes place on the state floor of the White House and is packed with attendees. This year, however, the Friday, Feb. 26 event will kick off at 7pm central via WhiteHouse.gov.
One upside of the celebration being virtual is more Americans will be able to watch the event than usual.
Over the decades, U.S. presidents of both political parties have held official celebrations for Black History Month, hosting celebrities, Black leaders and those concerned with and for the community to fellowship together and enjoy music and speeches.
During the gathering the Biden/Harris administration will further push their agenda for Black America via speeches that speak specifically to issues hitting Black America.
Anthony Hamilton is slated to perform two songs during his set, including his latest single, “Mercy.” Hamilton included activist Tamika Mallory as part of the “Mercy” video which, like the scheduled White House Black History Month Celebration speeches, centers on social justice.
“Well, Mercy was a song that we put out after George Floyd and all this stuff just writing. And I felt like the song was speaking to the men who were feeling heavy and feeling overwhelmed by all the events and just feeling let down by society,” says Hamilton. “I wanted to let him know … it’s OK to take a little moment, to take it all in and to, you know, just say sometimes you just need a little mercy, a little minute to regroup and need to be loved and appreciated.”
“I know they try to separate us, keep our families broken. But this is a prime example of a Black woman who is there instilling in her man all that he needs and lifting him up and without emasculating him,” Hamilton says of Mallory’s role in the music visual.
The song, he says, is to “let people know we’ve been through some things [and] we’re going to be alright.”
The St. Augustine Choir will also perform at the event, singing the Negro National Anthem. However, because of COVID-19 guidelines, choir members will sing in different rooms of the White House.
Where to watch on WH channels: