For this year’s 4th of July celebration, the U.S. Department of State’s Africa Regional Services has scheduled an Independence Day Livestream featuring music and interviews with artists, entrepreneurs and innovators from both the United States and Sub-Saharan African countries. I will be the host for this Livestream, alongside South African DJ Mo Laudi, a TRUE Africa favorite.

The four-hour Livestream, which will take place from 2pm to 6pm GMT on July 4, 2020, will be broadcast on and on Facebook and YouTube under the theme “Let Freedom Ring.” Let Freedom Ring is the title of a classic album by jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean, recorded in 1962 and released on the Blue Note label.

Featuring music and interviews with renowned musicians including Songhoy Blues (Mali), Maria de Barros (Cabo Verde, pictured), Leon Mobley (United States), Tabi Bonney (Togo/USA) and Muthoni Drummer Queen (Kenya), this project is directed by One Minute Academy founder Christoph A. Geiseler, an American one-minute video expert who has designed global training and one-minute video strategies for National Geographic, Adobe and the Department of State.

The messaging for this virtual celebration is about freedom, which is at the heart of American values and aspirations. At this pivotal moment in American history, the debates over the meaning of freedom and equality should prove particularly lively. Many African and American voices will be heard, through additional statements and interviews with United States Ambassadors, and young African leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators from across the continent.

The Independence Day #LetFreedomRing Livestream will support public engagement and outreach by approximately 49 U.S. embassies and consulates in Sub-Saharan Africa to young people ages 18-35. The program will commemorate Independence Day and the longstanding commitment, friendship, and support for Sub-Saharan African countries by the United States. The Department of State’s Bureau of African Affairs is focused on the development and management of U.S. policy concerning the African continent.