Milwaukee Celebrates 52 Years of Honoring Juneteenth in the City

52 Years of Celebrating Juneteenth

Milwaukee has been celebrating Juneteenth Day since 1971. Thousands of community members came out on Martin Luther King Drive to celebrate the holiday. It is on record that Milwaukee has one of the longest-running Juneteenth celebrations in the country.

Milwaukee’s Juneteenth celebration was held on June 19, 2023.

This year’s theme in Milwaukee was “I Am Juneteenth.” 

The parade kicked off at 9 a.m. on 14th and Atkinson and ended at MLK Drive and Locust Street. Local businesses, nonprofits, and entrepreneurs enjoyed themselves while promoting the Black community.

Milwaukee artist Big Frank at Milwaukee’s 52nd Juneteenth Celebration. (Video by Tyree Pope III)

Artist Big Frank, who is well known around the city and is loved by many, was out celebrating the festivities and taking pictures with community kids.

“We down here showing love. Showing love to the community and all the kids. The kids love me and I love them.”

– Big Frank

Multiple Black-owned food trucks occupied the streets, serving eventgoers fresh savory food from soul food to BBQ, shaved iced, ice cream, and more.

Juneteenth Background

On June 19, 1865, around 2,000 Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas and announced to more than 250,000 enslaved Black people in the state that they were free. In simpler terms, there were still Black people in this country who did not know they were free until June 19 that year. To some, this day marks our country’s second independence day. 

The Real Milwaukee

Juneteenth is a great time to see the true Milwaukee. Many don’t know but Milwaukee is a Black city, meaning most of its residents are Black. On days like this, our community comes out in numbers where you can see all shades of Black glowing in the sun with smiles on our faces.

Alderwoman Milele Coggs at Milwaukee’s 52nd Juneteenth Celebration. (Video by Tyree Pope III)

Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs of the sixth district had a booth at the event to show her commitment to being directly involved in the community. She took some time to tell us why it’s important to attend events like Juneteenth in the city where we can all come together in a positive way.

“When we find solutions, when we work together, and we collaborate when we demand more and work for more…we could be the place that kind of has the blueprint for how to improve things for Black communities across the country.

– Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs

The Celebration Never Stops

Milwaukee will continue leading the way when it comes to acknowledging Juneteenth and putting Black people on.

If you haven’t visited the city yet, Summer is a great time to do so.

CNS Juneteenth Playlist

Click here to watch our video interviews from the Milwaukee 52nd Juneteenth Celebration.

Nyesha Stone founded Carvd N Stone in 2017 to cover positive news while attending the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Stone has a B.A. in Journalism. She has raised over $30,000 to award grants and scholarships. She has also been featured in ESSENCE and worked with the American Black Film Festival.

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