It's been a century and a half since the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law, freeing more than 3-million slaves in America.
And for the past 150 years, city, county, and state leaders here in southwest Georgia have continued that progress.
Many people all over the country are taking time this weekend to remember the struggles of those enslaved over 150 years ago.
And right here in southwest Georgia, folks are doing the same.
"Racism is something that will destroy any environment," says Albany City Commissioner Tommy Postell.
"Color is not an issue anymore. It should be just people," says Billy Washington, a resident of Tifton.
The Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863 was a historic document that freed slaves under Union control during the Civil War.
"In September of 1862, he stated he wanted to have Union without slavery," explains Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta.
But it wasn't until the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, that would change the country forever. And city officials in Albany say those changes are still taking place 150 years later.
"The obstacles that are there are presented by those people that just don't want to give up and say all men are created equal and by that one statement if they just respect that there would be more cooperation from everyone," says Postell.
"Today are free to do and live as we want upon the land. So here we are today to enjoy life comfortably," says Washington.
A life that so many can now enjoy and a memory that will continue to drive people to improve the lives of all races all over the country.
Many African American soldiers in the south didn't find out about their freedom until June which was 5 months after the law was signed in by Congress.
Many people celebrate Juneteenth in conjunction of this weekend's holiday.