What to anticipate at Milwaukee’s Juneteenth 2022 celebration | WUWM 89.7 FM

Freedom Day, Black Independence Day, Juneteenth. It’s a vacation that folks can be celebrating this Sunday.

It’s 157 years to the day that Union Military troopers arrived in Galveston, Texas, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation. They introduced to the enslaved those that they have been free.

Milwaukee has hosted public Juneteenth Day celebrations since 1971.

READ: Juneteenth: The Day African Americans Truly Gained Freedom

Elizabeth Coggs, director of operations on the Northcott Neighborhood House, a group middle within the Harambee neighborhood that organizes Milwaukee’s celebration, explains how the celebrations started.

“Effectively, it was two superior queens, Margaret Henningsen and Jan Kemp-Cole, who introduced the concept of the Juneteenth Celebration to Milwaukee, Wisconsin 51-years-ago,” says Coggs. “These superior ladies had been out of city with household and had skilled the Juneteenth Celebration. And so, Joe Winston was the chief director [of Northcott Neighborhood House] on the time. He jumped for pleasure.”

Milwaukee County Transit System ran Juneteenth Day indicators in 2021.

“And that was our first Juneteenth Day celebration,” remembers Coggs. Coggs lived within the Harambee neighborhood as a baby and remembers strolling to Juneteenth along with her mother and pa. “And I keep in mind it all the time being a reunion, otherwise you noticed individuals that you just hadn’t seen shortly. And it was an event to have a good time, and dance, sing. Tradition, good meals and simply good outdated household ties.”

She says that’s what organizers need individuals to do that 12 months, at the same time as COVID-19 persists. “We would like individuals to do it safely. If you wish to put on a masks, put on your masks. For those who’re vaccinated, it is outside occasion. We encourage individuals to social distance. And we labored very diligently and did all the due diligence with our legislation enforcement companions, Milwaukee Police Division and Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Division. We can have courtesy ambassadors out in vivid inexperienced shirts to assist individuals and attempt to discover their method.”

This 12 months, Juneteenth additionally falls on Father’s Day. “The theme is a tribute to dads: father, trainer, protector and hero,” says Coggs.

The celebration has traditionally occurred on King Drive, from North Avenue to Middle Avenue, and has all the time integrated Bernice and Clinton Rose Park, previously often called Garfield Park. This 12 months, the occasion is going down on King Drive from Middle to Ring Avenue.


2021 Juneteenth Day celebration introduced collectively the Milwaukee group.

The primary elements of the occasion are the parade and the road pageant. The parade begins at 9AM on 14th Avenue and Atkinson Avenue and can embody dance and drill and marching band groups.

Because the parade winds down Atkinson Avenue and King Drive it’s going to get the 5 Factors Neighborhood. Coggs says “that is the place [the teams] want to point out up and present out and do their factor. We have got a whole lot of superstar judges. We’ve got a whole lot of elected officers, we have got faculties, we have got senior residents, we have got each type of dance group and marching band that you might consider.”

This 12 months’s road pageant showcases over 300 new distributors. There can be all the things from barbecue, Caribbean and soul meals to contemporary fruit, corn on the cob and peach cobbler. There are additionally distributors promoting clothes, artwork, and jewellery. It is going to be all ages, with a child zone for youth underneath 12, together with a petting zoo, rides and video games and a teen zone with “all of the funky music,” says Coggs. “And we’re bringing again hula hooping contests, double Dutch single row contests, basketball abilities.”


Mister and Miss Juneteenth Day winners 2021.

Traditionally, Juneteenth in Milwaukee has a summer time live performance. And this 12 months isn’t any totally different.

“So beginning at 5pm [June 19] the Bernice and Clinton Rose Park would be the ‘have a good time tradition, jazz and blues live performance,’” says Coggs. “And we’ll proceed these jazz and blues live shows each Saturday after Juneteenth up till the tip of July from 2pm to 6pm. So it is gonna be a sturdy summer time of creativity.”

Coggs says Juneteenth is important to all Individuals. “It’s the day of freedom,” she says. “And right here at Northcott Neighborhood Home, we follow freedom one year a 12 months. Simply a few weeks in the past, we marched within the Satisfaction Parade as a result of that is about freedom. And we raised the Juneteenth flag and banner.”

“And nowadays and occasions that we’re , there may be a whole lot of dialogue about fairness and inclusion and variety. However you bought to not solely speak to speak, you bought to stroll the stroll,” says Coggs. “And so that is what we’re always selling the historical past, the historical past of slavery, the factual historical past of freedom and the way all that occurred in Galveston, Texas and has unfold all throughout the nation that President Biden would make it a nationwide federal vacation final 12 months.”

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