Greater Lafayette celebrates first official Juneteenth

Two days after becoming a federal holiday, Juneteenth celebrations commenced across Greater Lafayette. Although it has been celebrated for generations, this Juneteenth is the first to be federally recognized.

Posted: Jun 19, 2021 7:58 PM

WEST LAFAFYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Just two days after becoming a federal holiday on June 17, Greater Lafayette is celebrating it's first official Juneteenth. It's been celebrated for generations but this is the first one to be federally recognized.

State Representative Chris Campbell affirmed the importance of recognizing the holiday.

"It's a very important start to starting to accept parts of our history, and to identify them and to embrace those parts of our history, and this is absolutely an important day that we need to remark and remember," Campbell said.

Today, black history was remembered at Tapawingo Park in West Lafayette through song, poetry and spoken word. The struggles of slavery and the stories of black people in America through re-construction and beyond were all on display.

Pamela Jones Horne, a pastor at the Bethel AME Church in Lafayette has enjoyed the celebration.

"I think the celebration has been really nice, I've really been impressed with the people who have spoken today, and how creative they were in creating the history," Jones Horne said.

However, she says it's only the beginning of what needs to be done.

"We still have to deal with the question of reparations, we have to deal with the questions about police brutality, about really bringing the nation together in unity," Jones Horne said.

For next year's Juneteenth, she hopes to see a greater turnout not only from the black community, but from folks of all walks of life.

"Acknowledge that Juneteenth was something necessary, to acknowledge the history of black people across the nation and really around the world, and really become unified," Jones Horne said.

The celebration at Tapawingo Park was from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There was also a celebration at Columbian Park in Lafayette from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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