Jack Fennimore
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2017 Juneteenth Day Rocks

One of nation's oldest Juneteenth Days celebrates slavery's end.

By - Jun 20th, 2017 12:22 pm
2017 Juneteenth Day celebration. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

2017 Juneteenth Day celebration. Photos by Jack Fennimore.

Milwaukee festival goers gathered yesterday for what is considered one of the largest and longest running Juneteenth Day celebrations in the United States.

Juneteenth Day is the oldest celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862, setting the date for the final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 which freed slaves in the Confederate states (the Union underwent a system of gradual abolition). However, it took longer for the news to reach Texas for multiple reasons and the slaves there were not yet free. After the Civil War, General Gordon Granger announced General Orders No. 3 in Galveston, Texas on June 19, 1865, which declared that all slaves are free.

Milwaukee didn’t start celebrating until 1971 when Margaret Henningsenretired Executive Director at the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee who was an employee of Northcott Neighborhood House at the time, was inspired by a Juneteenth Day celebration in Georgia to organize the celebration in Milwaukee.

As is traditional, the festival began with a parade running down N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. and ending at a festival between W. Burleigh St. and W. Center St. Many groups in the parade, like the MCP Dance Squad and Nefertari African Dance Company, showcased dances both traditional and modern. Some groups in the parade were there to spread awareness with one float encouraging people to stop black on black crime and say no to police brutality and a group giving out hugs while wearing T-shirts with “hugs, no drugs” on them. Even Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele made an appearance, shaking the hands of festival goers and stopping for photos. The street festival itself was packed with people and featured tons of food and shopping vendors.

Our photos capture the festivities.

Photo Gallery

One thought on “Photo Gallery: 2017 Juneteenth Day Rocks”

  1. MARY GLASS says:

    JACK FENNIMORE take away from the 2017 JUNETEENTH DAY in Milwaukee is appreciated by this office.

    Thank you, Jack Fennimore!

    Fennimore’s respectful commentary of the June 19, 2017, historic event, speaks to the day of the first Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, which was the delayed Emancipation of African Americans in America.

    Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President, signed the Emancipation Proclamation over 2 years before by the enactment regarding the Confederate States of America on January 1, 1863.

    We are able to see in Fennimore’s article a PROUD people that are pleased to have a festival engagement on a large scale in their city with different forms of entertainment, cultural tastes, drinks to cool off, cultural clothing, cultural jewelry, and oils, reunions, colorful items for sale, health reminders, community outreach groups – with all age groups present to walk in the parade, walk the route, laugh, crack jokes, finger-pop to music, dance, take photos, and see a neighbor.

    These are PROUD folks celebrating from whence they have come but mindful of the ENSLAVEMENT that is yet afoot.

    What the day shows is “how resilient African Americans are” in spite of oppressions after oppressions by human hands and minds.

    Yes. JUNETEENTH arrived during the American Civil War (1861-1865).

    Union General Gordon Granger, birthplace New York, brought the news of the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln the 16th President, Republican Party, that African Americans were no longer slaves. The news was 2 years and 5 months after the signing by Lincoln. Therefore, many African American were held enslaved without the option of FREEDOM for over 2 years.

    My question is: Who and What gave these folks, Caucasians, the God-fearing right to steal, take ownership and sell another human being, Africa American as chattel. Who? What? Greed and Hate are two reasons. We got to get past that. We got to get past that!

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