LEXINGTON, Va – Progress is a word Lexington Mayor Frank Friedman has become familiar with over the last year.
“Part of our comprehensive plan is the whole idea of embracing our history and uplifting figures from the past,” Friedman said.
As this city continues to address its complicated past, leaders are preparing to host their first official Juneteenth event downtown.
A time that will be used to celebrate and reflect.
“One of the things that’s really critical about Lexington is we’re based in with history and education, and it’s been an educational piece for most of our community to learn about Juneteenth,” Friedman said.
In the last year alone, Stonewall Jackson’s name has been removed from the hospital, cemetery, and several buildings at Virginia Military Institute.
The state’s oldest military school also removed a statue honoring the confederate general.
“I think it’s important to celebrate Juneteenth. In Lexington, because of the because of the history, particularly with the kind of the Confederate history,” Rockbridge NAACP President Reginald A. Early said.
Rockbridge County NAACP president Reginald Early says celebrations like the city’s Martin Luther King Jr. parade are an inspiration for how this weekend will look.
“All of these organizations are social justice issues the organizations that want to see people of color, get their due justice,” Early said.
City leaders agree there is still more work to be done, but they will continue to move forward together.
“Were moving in the right direction, keeping in step with the nation. From a Commonwealth point of view,” Early said.
From 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. events will be held at Hopkin’s Green and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. events will be held on Washington Street, which is between South Jefferson Street and South Main Street.
Click here to learn more.