Fifteen young men and women from Sabine Parish’s TRIO program made the drive south to LSU-Alexandria, Thursday, June 15 to attend the college’s second annual Juneteenth program. They were joined by contingents from Natchitoches parish and Alexandria’s TRIO programs.
The program presented the background of the holiday as well as a unity pledge from LSUA’s Homecoming Queen, Ms. Zoria Sewell, and talks from coach Dimario Jackson, Dr. Cynthia Thomas and Ms. Connie Cooper. There was also a presentation on the life of Solomon Northrup, a free born Black man from New York who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana for 12 years before finally being able to obtain his freedom and return home.
The highlight of the day was the Freedom Walk from the student union to the Epps House. The Epps house was owned by Edwin Epps who held Solomon Northrup in bondage for almost ten years on his plantation in Avoyelles parish until his eventual return to freedom in 1853. The house was originally in Bayou Boeuf near Holmesville and was moved to the LSUA campus in 1999 and restored. There was a brief ceremony and a wreath laying in honor of Solomon Northrup’s legacy after which the visiting students ate lunch and were treated to a showing of the film “The Learning Tree”, directed by the trail blazing African-American director and photographer Gordon Parks.
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