Juneteenth 2012 in Madison is one event that everyone should attend! Every
Juneteenth is exciting with its emphasis on family friendly, drug and alcohol free,
cultural events. Juneteenth is always wonderful as our community celebrates the
achievements of African Americans from the last enslaved people on June 19,
1865 in Texas to our present day Black America with President Barack Obama,
the first African American president. Juneteenth is our special Independence Day
acknowledged by African Americans beginning with those in the southwest and
spreading all over this country. Originally Juneteenth focused on family
gatherings with traditional food, storytelling and speeches that recall how far we
have come from slavery. Those early celebrations also included games and
sports. Now Juneteenth in Madison includes several tents that emphasize
heritage, entertainment, children, youth, church, health, sports and focus on the
general well being of all African Americans.
In 1990, a group of Madison's Black community leaders partnered with the
Madison Inner City Council on Substance Abuse to start the first Juneteenth Celebration. From the beginning, Juneteenth Day has been
a wholesome, drug- and alcohol-free event that children and families could attend, have fun and enjoy. The celebration's mission is to
gather the members of Madison's Black community in a positive way and to improve the understanding of African American heritage
and its connections to Africa and the Caribbean. Kujichagulia – Madison Center for Self-Determination is the official sponsor of current
Madison celebrations. Kugichagulia seeks to build relationships between the Black community and the greater Madison community by
partnering with a number of local businesses and agencies that provide funding, information booths, or participate in other ways to
make the Juneteenth Celebration a success.
In addition, Kujichagulia builds bridges with the community by sharing African American culture and heritage with non-Black Madison
residents through entertainment, food, educational booths and displays, and vendors of African and Black products and art items.
Kujichagulia’s entertainment program showcases the talents of young people in dance, music and dramatic presentation, and promotes
a healthy sense of pride, confidence and accomplishment. The organization works with local churches, and other community groups
and agencies to involve youth from their programs in exceptional entertainment without profanity or insult. Juneteenth begins with an
awesome parade that starts at Fountain of Life Worship Center at 633 W. Badger Road and marches through the Southside to Penn Park.
Juneteenth 2012 has two new organizers: Ronnicia Johnson-Walker and Jessica Strong. The Madison community can testify to the gifts
and talents of both of them as they have grown up. The original founders, Annie Weatherby Flowers and Mona Adams Winston, are
guiding these two talented young women through their first year of Juneteenth before handing over the reins. This new vision of
Juneteenth is one that no one should miss seeing unveiled first hand on this Saturday, June 16. Come out and encourage Jessica
Strong and Ronnicia Johnson-Walker and the Juneteenth 2012 committee as they continue the important legacy of Juneteenth in