Miss Juneteenth Parent Guide
This solidly acted production is a moving story about the emotional realities of parenting.
Parent Movie Review
p>Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) has lots of regrets, but one thing she remembers with pride is her term as Fort Worth’s Miss Juneteenth, the beauty queen representing the African American community. Her satisfying memories of winning the crown battle with her self-reproach over the lapses that cost her the scholarship. As she juggles two jobs – one waiting tables in a bar and the other applying makeup at the local funeral home – she swears that her daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) will never make the same mistakes and experience the same struggles. As Turquoise says to Kai’s father (Kendrick Sampson), “I’m gonna make her something we ain’t”
Given her own past, it’s not surprising that Turquoise’s plans for Kai’s successful future revolve around the Miss Juneteenth pageant and the opportunities it can provide the victor. To that end, she counts every penny to pay for registration fees and an elaborate gown. And she is so fixated on her goal that she is unable to see that Kai is far less invested in wearing the tiara…
Miss Juneteenth is a touching film about the emotional realities of parenting. It can be a challenge for parents to stop projecting our dreams on to our children and to acknowledge that they are individuals who have their own needs, dreams, and hopes. While this isn’t a film that will interest most teens, it will almost certainly resonate with parents – and it might sting a few.
Although the movie is geared at adults, it has moderate levels of “adult” content. There is some non-explicit sexual activity and approximately sixteen swear words. There are also frequent scenes of adults smoking and drinking alcohol – which isn’t surprising since Turquoise works in a bar. Fortunately, the negative content is somewhat compensated for with the positive messages that fill the movie. Turquoise might be blinded by her dreams, but she is a good mother who loves her daughter and provides clear expectations and consequences. While some viewers will find her too strict, she demonstrates her concern for her daughter as she supervises homework, corrects poor grammar, and minimizes Kai’s contact with boys. Kai is certainly frustrated with her mother, but the relationship between the two of them clearly demonstrates that when kids feel loved, they are resilient enough to roll with their parents’ well intentioned mistakes. This relationship is beautifully brought to life by Nicole Beharie as the determined, focused Turquoise and by Alexis Chikaeze who clearly portray’s Kai’s mingled love and frustration.
It’s appropriate that the movie is focused on the Miss Juneteenth pageant. June 19th marks the day in 1865 when the last enslaved people in the United States learned of their liberation from slavery. Few dates could better serve as the cornerstone for a film in which the protagonists are seeking their own freedom – whether from poverty, oppressive dreams, or outside control.Directed by Channing Godfrey Peoples. Starring Nicole Beharie, Kendrick Sampson, and Alexis Chikaeze. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release June 19, 2020. Updated June 22, 2020
Watch the trailer for Miss Juneteenth
Rating & Content Info
Why is Miss Juneteenth rated Not Rated? Miss Juneteenth is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A woman slaps her adult daughter during an argument. People raise their voices in arguments. There is mention of the shooting of an alligator.
Sexual Content: A married couple kiss and stroke one another in bed; they are seen in bed together the next morning. A woman wears a low cut t-shirt that displays cleavage.
Profanity: There are sixteen uses of coarse and profane language, including three sexual expletives, five scatological curses, and a handful of terms of deity, anatomical words, and mild swear words. There are also two uses of a racial slur, used affectionately by a character of the same race.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A main character works in a bar: people are frequently seen drinking alcohol. A woman is shown drunk; there is reference to her history of alcoholism. Main characters smoke frequently.
Page last updated June 22, 2020
Miss Juneteenth Parents' Guide
For more information about Juneteenth, check out these links:
Juneteenth.com: History of Juneteenth
Beauty pageants are often controversial with some people seeing them as exploiting womens’ bodies and others seeing them as a way to fund higher education while improving womens’ self esteem. Do you support or oppose beauty pageants?
ConnectUs: 24 Beauty Pageants Pros and Cons
Loved this movie? Try these books…
Willowdean is a lighthearted girl who cheerfully accepts her plus size body – which her beauty queen mother can’t do. Finally, the teen decides to do the scariest thing she can think of – enter the local beauty pageant. Read all about it in Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy.
The end of slavery is discussed in detail by Leonard L Richards in Who Freed the Slaves? The Fight over the Thirteenth Amendment.
The promise of freedom after the Civil War soon faded away. Eric Foner explores the failures of Reconstruction in The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution.
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Three generations of African American women have unusual gifts that they don’t let anyone know about. Then the government comes looking for one of them in Fast Color.
A beauty pageant is under threat and becomes the focus of an undercover police operation. A reluctant officer learns how to compete in Miss Congeniality.
The emancipation of enslaved people in the USA preoccupied Abraham Lincoln. Towards the end of the Civil War, he focused his efforts on a constitutional amendment to end slavery. This story is told in Lincoln.