June 17, 2020
County Board Supervisor Shelia Stubbs, 608-345-6961
County Board

Earlier this month, the Dane County Board of Supervisors recognized Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19, 2020.  Juneteenth recognizes the date that enslaved African Americans in Texas learned of their emancipation in 1865, almost two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation (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.  “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.”


Juneteenth has been celebrated since 1971 in Milwaukee, and since 1990 in Madison. The date was declared a Wisconsin State Holiday on December 1, 2009. 


“Juneteenth is legacy for me. It's like a passage from Maya Angelou's poem... "Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the hopes and dreams of the Slaves". It personifies Black resilience in America” said Annie Weatherby-Flowers, founder of Madison’s Juneteenth celebration.


The resolution acknowledges that even in 2020 in the United States of America, the legacy of slavery is felt daily by African Americans, and the promise of liberation has yet to be fulfilled, as evidenced by a lack of equal access to educational and economic opportunity, in challenged health outcomes, and, most critically, in disproportionate and sometimes life-threatening interaction with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.


“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).


The resolution resolves that the Dane County Board of Supervisors recognizes the importance of Juneteenth in Dane County and further commits to work continually to lead systemic change so that African Americans in our community can realize the freedom and equality first promised by the Emancipation Proclamation.


“June 19th is the day of Celebration when slaves in Texas received word of the victory in the Civil War, 2 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. 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 throughout the week of June 15, a list of events can be found online: https://www.kujimcsd.org/