River Road African American Museum commemorates enslaved fathers during Juneteenth

DONALDSONVILLE – Juneteenth was a weekend full of celebration, commemorating freedom for the last group of slaves in the United States.

“Why not celebrate something that represents the people who are really forced to work, build and be apart of a country that freedom was not even an opportunity for them,” Darryl Hambrick, the Interim Executive Director of the River Road African American Museum said. 

The museum sits in Donaldsonville and teaches the African American histories of Louisiana.

“The first Black mayor elected in the United States was elected right here in Donaldsonville, his name was Pierre Caliste Landry. In 1865, he’s emancipated, three years later, he’s elected to mayor of this city.”

Photos, documents, news articles are displayed throughout the museum, defining how these slaves fought for their freedom.

“Freedom represented a lot of things, it represented education, it represented the ability to go and vote, the ability to go into a restaurant to go into hotels. all of that didn’t come until many many years later after the emancipation.”

This Juneteenth is also being celebrated on Father’s Day.

Hambrick says this shows the importance of those enslaved fathers and what they represent.

“These men who fought for these freedoms, were strong men. They fought so that we could have the freedoms that we have today and we have to realize that inside of us, lies a part of them and that same freedom that they fought for, we should still be fighting for today.”

The museum is offering free admission to fathers who bring their children to the museum. The special last until the end of June.

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