Supervisor Coggs-Jones Secures County Board Approval to Create Lucille Berrien Park
“Ms. Lucille Berrien is an incredible community activist who deserves this recognition,” said Supervisor Coggs-Jones. “This legislation provides correction of a historical atrocity and moves us forward in our commitment to racial equity.”
The park was previously named for pilot Charles Lindbergh, best known for making the first nonstop flight between New York City and Paris. Lindbergh also has a history of racism and antisemitism, including blaming U.S. involvement in World War II on Jewish people and writing a 1939 article in “Readers Digest” which he argued, amongst other anti-integration positions, for the preservation of the white race and denounced “dilution by foreign races.”
Berrien is a prominent and highly regarded individual in Milwaukee. As a life-long activist, she has served on the board of directors for both Legal Action of Wisconsin and the Black Health Coalition and has fostered more than 120 children in her lifetime.
Berrien was the first Black woman to run for Milwaukee mayor, and although her run was not successful, she helped other Black women ascend to elected positions as an organizer for Shirley Chisholm’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.
“I would like to thank my County Board colleagues for their unanimous support on this resolution, as well as the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, Brian Verdin, Omar Flores, Alan Chavoya, and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees,” added Supervisor Coggs-Jones.
The park was conveyed to Milwaukee County by the City of Milwaukee in 1936. Renaming the park is contingent upon the City of Milwaukee repealing a provision in its deed with Milwaukee County that requires that the park be named Lindbergh Park.