As New Years’ Eve approaches, GRIFF asks Erica Campbell what the significance of a “Watchnight” is. According to the African American Registry, the term actually goes all the way back to the year that emancipation became legally in effect; when 1862 turned into 1863 at midnight, the slaves were officially free. They celebrated, prayed and shouted into the night, and ever since, many black people have been celebrating the beginning of a new year similarly in churches on New Years Eve all across the country.
Erica Campbell talks about how she and her church community spend the New Year with Jesus. She explains her church traditions, which include a DJ and dancing, but also a prayer to kick off the New Year. Check out this exclusive video to hear more in this clip from “Get Up! Mornings With Erica Campbell.”