Trap Music Museum is doing its part in spreading education and awareness about Juneteenth and its significance to this country with an entire week of dedication. Juneteenth is a day that celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. Throughout the week, people will have the opportunity to enjoy various events and activities centered-around Juneteenth.
“These events will look like an opportunity to celebrate Black culture overall through music, art, fashion, tech and film. This is a moment to celebrate a time where the country is realizing and understanding how important Black culture is, and the fact of actually acknowledging it. People have always tapped into our culture and want to be a part of our culture and utilized our culture but the acknowledgement part hasn’t always been in the forefront. Through these activations and events you have the opportunity to see everything that we’ve contributed to this country and people acknowledging, enjoying and celebrating our contributions,” says Krystal Garner, General Manager of the Trap Music Museum.
On Tuesday, June 15, 2021, Congress unanimously voted to pass a bill establishing June 19 as Juneteenth National Independence Day. With such a large resolution and step in the right direction, the way Juneteenth is taught and celebrated from now on will transform into something greater than ever imagined before.
“It is going to finally be a collaboration. There were so many people who celebrated Juneteenth but didn’t understand what it was or there were people who learned about it and they always did but it wasn’t something that was national or international that people recognized. Going into the moment of 2020 and everything we went through in that year as a culture, now people are saying where are the moments we can celebrate and how do we research and learn more.”
“I think it is going to be an opportunity of education for us to allow that to be a part of our history and something that is taught in schools. It’s going to be something that is a segway for us to feel like we belong in America as African American people. It’s going to be something that we’ve never seen before. We as a culture love to celebrate holidays and now we have one we can actually shoot some fireworks for, turn the music up loud and grill, especially with it being during the summertime.”
Trap Music Museum has many initiatives and goals for community upliftment and empowerment on their radar, one of the most recent is ‘Bridging the Trap.’
“Bridging the Trap is basically bridging the culture with trap music. Most people don’t understand trap music yet they throw it around because it’s a cool thing to do. It originated in Atlanta and we want to show people what Atlanta culture is and how Trap affected Black people,” says William “Bam” Sparks, Co-founder of the Trap Music Museum.
Trap Music Museum has partnered with entities such as Microsoft, Black Voters Matter and Footlocker Atlanta to provide an array of benefits that will aid in ‘Bridging the Trap’ in the community.
“From a tech standpoint, Microsoft donating 300 laptops to underserved children, I believe that will help bridge the trap because we all saw what happened in 2020. All of these children were homeschooling and didn’t have access to laptops or internet,” Sparks continues, “as far as Footlocker, they are coming on to provide clothes and gifts to children to get them excited. As kids, we all wanted to be fresh for school and many of these kids can’t afford things like that so I think it’s great that Footlocker has come and joined the initiative.”
Garner says, “Having the opportunity to partner with Black Votes Matter is so powerful because we are beginning to learn how important voting is and how important it is for our culture. We showed out this past election, especially here in Atlanta and at the Trap Music Museum. We hosted voter registration drives and early voter registration drives. We did as much as we could for the people that we were getting every weekend to understand how important it is to vote and how your voice matters despite those trying to suppress our vote.”
With over 6,000 visitors a week, Trap Music Museum has big plans for community involvement and education for the upcoming mayoral campaign season.
“We provide the perfect opportunity for people to gain knowledge about the candidates without persuading them to vote for any particular candidate. We want people to understand who these candidates are, what they stand for and if they align with your values,” says Garner.
Of course, Trap Music Museum is widely known for its diverse exhibits and displays regarding music and artists in trap, which has been well received by the community. One of their top priorities is making sure to always reciprocate that support and infuse it right back into the community.
“We’ve employed a lot of young people in the neighborhood with various opportunities, their first job even. Teaching them the route of how to apply for a job, how to create a resume, how to get a bank account or an ID to get a bank account. These are things that we deal with on a daily basis with our hiring process and we are ok with that because we are teaching something.”
“The only reason Trap Music Museum stayed is for the community.We’re telling a story as authentically as possible. Often in our culture, people tell our stories for us and that’s unfair. This is a result of the lack of opportunity. We’re here in Atlanta where opportunity is available for everyone and we took a part of that opportunity and created this space. When we didn’t plan to be here any longer and operate as a pop up, the community spoke up and said we want you to stay here. If it wasn’t for the community we would not be who we are today.”
“We are partnering with HBCUs, creating art curation programs and diving into film and fashion. We just want to shine the light on young Black talent. Coming from this neighborhood, these opportunities were not presented to us so we need to turn that around and present it to the youth now. Getting them to understand that there are other things to do than just trap, which is one of the reasons we call the escape room ‘Escape the Trap’ because most of us don’t escape. Having partnerships with big corporations such as Microsoft allows the ability to build a situation so these kids won’t be stuck here,” says Sparks.