NEW TO VOD REVIEW! The quick history of the phrase Juneteenth dates back to the Emancipation Proclamation when Texas became the last hold out regarding slavery. Two years after Lincoln’s signing, blacks in Texas continued as slaves until June 19th, 1865. Juneteenth is considered the real Independence Day for African-Americans. Writer/director Channing Godfrey Peoples’ Miss Juneteenth tells the story of a mother and daughter competing in the prestigious Miss Juneteenth Pageant.
Turquoise Smith (Nicole Beharie) works multiple jobs to ensure her daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) will have a better life than she has. The way out and up for Kai is to win the Miss Juneteenth pageant and use the scholarship money to get a college education. Turquoise, herself, won the pageant years ago but did not move onto greatness as other winners had. A burden and shame she carries every day.
“Turquoise…works multiple jobs to ensure her daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) will have a better life than she has.”
Turquoise lives paycheck-to-paycheck, and she takes on extra work and extra shifts to come up with the expensive pageant fees and Kai’s pageant dress. Getting the additional money is not easy and helping her (or not helping her) is Kai’s father (Kendrick Sampson) and Turquoise’s ultra-religious mother (Lori Hayes).
It becomes clear that the only one invested in winning the Miss Juneteenth pageant is Turquoise , as she has it in her head that this is Kai’s only chance at success…her one-and-only chance. Turquoise’s life is teetering on a delicate balance and one misstep can send her and Kai’s future crashing down.
"…director Peoples knows and understands the world where her story takes place."