Black Civil Rights in Lafayette Parish

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – A local professor spoke on a topic that can be quite controversial at times: the history of Black Civil Rights in Lafayette Parish.

What started out a few months ago as a black history presentation for a leadership group, one piece of history led to another, and triggered Dr. Rick Swanson to dive deeper into the history of Lafayette Parish.

Dr. Swanson is a professor of political science at UL Lafayette. But lately, the professor has been taking his lecture outside of the classroom, and the topic can make some uncomfortable.

“I just think the public needs to really explore the history of this area. It has been purposely hidden for generations” said Swanson.

That hidden history is of black civil rights in Lafayette Parish.

Jean Menard of Acadia Parish Resident says, “There’s been so much that hasn’t been told. We, even in school, haven’t really learned the truth always.”

Menard also brought her 9-year-old son to the presentation.

“I want him to know the truth. I want him to know what really happened and as much as I can, find out to educate myself and then to educate him.

Joe Dupree Anderson served as moderator and helped to coordinate the event.

“One of the main things that we were trying to do was to speak love over hate. This is a process of healing where we can come together, all races, and start the dialog to bring about healing with race relations”, Anderson said.

Dr. Swanson explained “This is not just history for history’s sake. This is a part of people coming to terms with the truth so that we can reconcile as a community.”

To view Dr. Swanson’s full presentation, just follow this link.


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