Previewing Juneteenth 2022 celebrations in Central Louisiana
ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Juneteenth was officially made a federal holiday in 2021, but it has been celebrated since June 19, 1865, when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, declaring freedom for the enslaved people.
“It is an awesome holiday and I am grateful that it is now a national holiday,” said Shirley Alexander, Central Louisiana Juneteenth Association Parade Director. “It does not matter what race you are, I think everybody should come out and be a part of Juneteenth because it is worthy of being celebrated.”
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation in Galveston, the oppression Black people have overcome and the contributions they have made.
“It is very significant not only for our freedom but for the contributions that our people have made to this country, to the Central Louisiana area, just to make our country better,” said Connie Cooper, LSUA’s Chief Diversity Officer. “It is celebrating that and standing in solidarity and asking others to stand with us in the struggle for a more inclusive and a more just society for everyone.”
The Central Louisiana Juneteenth Association has been putting on Juneteenth celebrations for the last 30 years. Carolyne Frazier, the President of the organization, said Juneteenth is a time to reflect on the past and share important knowledge and history with the younger generation.
“We cater to the young folks to let them know where they came from, what happened before Momma, before Grandma, they need to know this, they need to know their history,” said Frazier.
The Central Louisiana Juneteenth Association has planned a parade that will begin on the corner of Casson and Third Street at 6 p.m on Saturday, June 18, and end in front of Peabody Magnet High School. Then on Sunday, June 19, the Juneteenth Celebration Fun Day will start at 4 p.m. at Cheatham Park, and everyone is encouraged to join in the celebrations.
“We just want to bring this thing together where we can someday look at it where it is not about color, it is about us,” said Frazier. “When you die your blood will be red and my blood will be red and that is what we are trying to instill. It is going to take many years, but we are getting closer especially here in Central Louisiana, and here in Alexandria.”
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