Historic Black Neighborhood Celebrates Juneteenth with First Historical Marker
Austin's Montopolis Community Commemorates Storied Past with Event and BBQ
The dedication ceremony event will be held on Friday, June 18, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. at the cemetery, located at 6700 Felix Ave., on the corner of Felix and Valdez streets in Austin's Montopolis neighborhood. Speakers will elaborate on the historical importance of the Burditt's Prairie Freedmen's Community, and tours of the historic cemetery will be available. The event will be followed by a neighborhood BBQ and block party at the adjacent Montopolis Practice Fields at 901 Vasquez St. All are welcome to join in the celebration.
The Montopolis neighborhood has a storied past. It was founded before the City of Austin was established. After Texas won its independence, Montopolis was considered as a possible location for the capital of the Republic of Texas. Montopolis was also one of Austin's original Freedom Colonies after the Civil War.
Local historians and community leaders are celebrating the new historical marker, while noting that it is long overdue.
"Montopolis is the most historic neighborhood in Austin that nobody knows about," says Dr. Fred L. McGhee, an historical archaeologist and author of Austin's Montopolis Neighborhood. "The history of this community is priceless," he continued. "With gentrification destroying the heritage of entire Austin neighborhoods, community based protection, preservation and perpetual care matter now more than ever."
"This is a historic event for Austin and for the community," says Susana Almanza, president of the Montopolis Neighborhood Association.
ABOUT THE MONTOPOLIS CDC—The Montopolis Community Development Corporation is a 100% minority and disabled veteran led 501c(3) community based non-profit dedicated to revitalizing the Montopolis community the right way: via environmental protection, historic preservation, affordable and green housing development, and partnerships that put community first. Learn more at www.montopolis.org.