Dane County Board acknowledges Juneteenth as day to celebrate influence, history of Black community

Published: Jun. 17, 2020 at 8:06 PM CDT
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As Juneteenth approaches, the Dane County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution acknowledging the holiday as well as the legacy and influence of slavery felt by communities today.

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, commemorates the date that Texan slaves learned of their emancipation in 1865, almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued in 1863.

“I’m honored that the Dane County Board has recognized June 19th as a day to celebrate and honor the influence and the history of the African American community in Dane County,” said Supervisor Shelia Stubbs (District 23), who also serves in the Wisconsin Assembly in a release.

“It is one day we set aside to recognize the adversity, intellect, and huge contributions the African American community has given to Dane County, and our country. It is a moment to reflect and build a new future based on the promises of the past,” Stubbs said.

According to a release issued by the County Board, the resolution acknowledges that even in 2020, there still exists a lack of equal access to educational and economic opportunity, challenged health outcomes and disproportionate and sometimes life-threatening interaction with law enforcement and the criminal justice system as experienced by the Black community.

“Juneteenth is a day to celebrate African American history and the African American experience. Now more than ever we need to respect and appreciate the impact each person has on one another and on the communities we live in. Understanding the history of African Americans and their impact on our community deserves and should be recognized and celebrated,” said County Board Supervisor Anthony Gray (District 14).

Milwaukee has celebrated the holiday since 1971, and Madison has celebrated since 1990. Juneteenth was declared a Wisconsin State Holiday on Dec. 1, 2009.

“In 2020 we receive news instantaneously, and yet the cry for Equity is far from being heard. Dane County should be proud to have a diverse range of board members representing them, where we will continue to make movements that best serve all of our constituents. When one rises, we all rise,” said County Board Supervisor Teran Peterson (District 19).

Juneteenth will be celebrated in Madison throughout the week of June 15. A list of virtual community events can be found here To celebrate, The Wisconsin State Capitol

will fly the official Juneteenth flag on June 19 for the first time in state history.

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