Leslie Uggams and Ben Vereen were honored with the Broadway League’s inaugural Juneteenth Legacy Awards on Sunday, June 19, 2022, during a free concert and celebration of Juneteenth in Times Square. They were recognized for their lifelong community involvement and achievements on Broadway. Tony winner James Monroe Iglehart (Aladdin, Hamilton) hosted the event, and performers included Tony winner Myles Frost (MJ The Musical), Tony nominee Jared Grimes (Funny Girl), and Tony winner Joaquina Kalukango (Paradise Square).
“Oh, what a wonderful day of celebration! As I stand here, I’m remembering my own family and appreciating how important it is to honor our personal stories and collective history. Our ancestors speak through us and give us the courage to make our own voices be heard,” Ms. Uggams said during brief remarks.
“At a time when some folks are trying to erase our contributions and very existence from American classrooms, libraries, and history books (I mean, really? Still?), it’s essential, essential, that we tell our own truths everywhere,” she continued.
“And we in the theater have a built-in platform,” she emphasized. “Where better to be loud and proud?”
“This Broadway season was richly diverse. Let’s build on it,” she concluded. “Let’s make Broadway the Great WIDE Way once and for all.”