Community raises Juneteenth flag in Milwaukee, remembers emancipation of Black Americans

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jun 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-14 19:52:12-04

MILWAUKEE — In the heart of one of Milwaukee's predominately Black neighborhoods, a Juneteenth flag now flies high symbolizing justice and freedom for Black Americans.

"It means heritage, it means unity, it means where we came from," said Atkinson Park resident, Huston Wade.

It was a sight that brought smiles and pride to many. Families, friends and local leaders watched as the Juneteenth flag was raised in the middle of Atkinson Park.

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"This is a very important park to the Black community, right in the heart of where Black people live in our community," said State Rep. David Bowen.

"The flag represents strength, it represents freedom, it represents that we're moving forward," said X Men United LLC President, Torre Johnson.

Johnson was just one of many who pushed to have the flag raised in the local park in remembrance of June 19th, a day that marks the freedom of enslaved Black Americans in the United States.

"Freedom isn't free, so we have to also tell that story authentically. Educating our students, our young people about what we have been through and the strong enduring shoulders that we stand on today," said Rep. Bowen.

With the same red, white and blue colors as the American Flag, the Juneteenth flag shows a bursting star on the front, symbolizing a new people and a new freedom.

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"It's new. It's a new beginning. That's almost as the same as the American flag letting the people know that our ancestors and our descendants that were enslaved are Americans," said Johnson.

And while it's a step in the right direction when it comes to commemorating Juneteenth, officials say there's still more work to be done.

"98% of Americans don't learn about this in our schools, and this is an important event, and it's an event that should be taught," said Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett adds that he still has to iron out some details when it comes to seeing if he can raise the Juneteenth flag over at city hall - but he says no matter what, something will be done to remember the special day.

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