Pictures from this year's celebration!
This past year was the 30th Annual Celebration of Juneteenth, which was held on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Penn Park. This year's theme was: "Embracing Our Legacy of Resilience". Juneteenth is a wonderful opportunity to experience the rich history of African Americans through various forms of entertainment, lectures, visual presentation, food and other activities. Juneteenth provides the opportunity for your group or agency to reach a significant portion of Madison's African American community. Our many partnerships have increased the Celebration's ability to draw a wider audience from across Dane County.
Juneteenth is the one event that is totally dedicated to the African American experience here in Madison and across the nation. We are aware of the challenges that impact African Americans living in Madison and Dane County but adversity is not new to African American community. For it was in the midst of slavery that our American experience was formed; while plowing fields and picking cotton “soul music” was born as an outward expression of hope in the midst of despair. It is the freedom from what physically binds us that is celebrated every Juneteenth Day. In 1865, it was slavery and today it is racial disparity.
We are excited about next year’s Celebration. As we researched historical information to ensure that we plan a celebration that resonates with the essence of the Black experience in America, we found out these amazing facts; ‘Black America influences 90% – 100% of mainstream American culture. From music to movies, literature to language, fashion to finance, Black America has a predominant influence.’ As a community, we make up about 12 – 15 % of this country’s population and despite the startling rates of disparities; we determine the culture of this great nation. Take a moment to reflect and as you do, think about the many accomplishments of Black people in this country, consider the magnitude of our intellect, talents, skills and our community’s profound influences on contemporary society, you should simply be amazed. This influence is historical and dates back to the beginning of time; Black people have contributed greatly from the development of civilization to modern day advances.