June 19th is now the official state and federal holiday to remember Juneteenth, the anniversary of the end to slavery and the beginning of freedom for many black people in the south.
"It's a history that's not intended only for black people to know about. Black history is American history, but it's not taught in the schools, so there's an effort to change that so the entirety of American history can be taught," says Fredrick Prejean, President of Move the Mindset, a social justice and equality advocacy group.
Across Acadiana there is a push to educate people on all facets of history, starting with the public acknowledgment of Juneteenth. In many cities, this is the first time it's been marked as an official holiday.
"I wanted to do a proclamation that had never been done before as far as proclaiming June 19th as Juneteenth day in the city of Franklin and its just part of the historical significance of the Emancipation Proclamation, and the news of the emancipation didn't get into the Texas and Louisiana area until June 19 1865," says Mayor Eugene Foulcard of Franklin.
In Lafayette, local activism group, Move the Mindset, will host a commemorative Juneteenth event to honor the important anniversary and to educate the public on some of our untold history.
"We hope to have an enjoyable evening. We have speakers, we have music, we have a poet," says Prejean. The speakers include a history professor from UL, a speaker who will discuss the struggles of black women, and a poet. People can also expect singers and musicians.
People will gather in front of the confederate statue downtown. This location is a symbol of continued commitment to social justice and equality.
"Move the Mindset has not backed away from the pursuit of moving the statue. We want to remind people that that very statue on the grounds is only there because we are continuing the judicial process of moving it," says Prejean.
The commemorative event starts at 4:30 at Jefferson and Lee downtown, and all of the details can be found here.