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An Inclusive Juneteenth

Published On: Jun 12 2013 06:39:04 PM CDT
Neil Heinen photo




A conversation this week including a relative newcomer to Madison included that person’s observation that there was a noticeable lack of diversity in the weekly Farmer’s Market crowd. It’s a good point, it’s accurate, and it’s something we need to do something about. But another participant in that conversation, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, followed up by suggesting diversity could be found at Dane Dances, and at the annual Juneteenth celebration. And with Juneteenth occurring this Saturday we thought that was worth noting.

First, Juneteenth is first and foremost an observance of the day the last of the slaves in the U.S. were notified of their freedom. But here in Madison, in addition to the historic significance, the day is a celebration of African American culture with arts, food, performances and recreation and as such welcomes all Madison residents to enjoy diverse traditions. As always, organizer Annie Weatherby-Flowers welcomes corporate support as well as parade participants and volunteers. But Juneteenth is one of Madison’s truly diverse community events and one of which we are justifiably proud.


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