Reflections/Jonathan Gramling

Jonathan Gramling

Our 19th Year (Already?)

Before I get reminiscing aboiut 18 years of publishing completed, I want to give thanks to our two Dane County Executive candidates, Dana Pellebon and Wesley Sparkman, who grace our front cover. I really appreciate their strong character that allowed them to appear on the cover together. After all, they are competitors for the same position. I wanted to feature them both on the cover to show how far the African American community has come to have two of its own competing for one of the highest responsibility positions in our area.

It is wonderful to see two strong candidates vying for the position, made possible by the pending retirement of Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. This truly should be a source of pride for not only Dane County’s African American community, but the Dane County community as a whole. While some parts of Wisconsin are trending away from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, it makes me proud of our community to see them competing unhindered for this top community position. And it makes me doubly proud to see these two well-qualified individuals run. Dane County is headed in the right direction.


And so I ask Dana and Wesley, make our community proud and run the strongest campaigns possible for the betterment of all of our lives. We wish you well. AND VOTE APRIL 2!


It was March 22, 2006 that the first edition of The Capital City Hues was published and so we now enter our 20th year of publishing a newspaper that is African American, Latino, Asian American and Euro-American owned, written and read.

I can’t believe that we have already completed 18 full years of publishing, at least not until I look in the mirror and see on my face that the years have come and gone.

I will always cherish that first issue in part because it was truly a multicultural experience. Our cover story was on the late Mother Jackie Wright who talked about Madison’s civil rights movement and our our other P. 1 article told the story of Shree and Lakshmi Sridharan who came to Madison from India in the 1960s as students. We had columns by Dr. Paul Barrows, Alfonso Zepeda-Capistrán — written in Spanish — Pamela Pfeffer, Heidi Pascual — still here after all of these years — Elda Gonzalez and Laura Salinger. We also had a pictorial display of Madison’s Black History Month celebrations including the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Men Who Cook fundraiser. And to cap it off, we had a MMSD school board candidates forum. It was a jam-packed beginning issue that propelled us through 18 years.

It has been a privilege to try our hardest to reflect the Madison area’s diversity through the years. It is impossible to provide complete coverage of the communities given their ever-growing size and multitude of events and people doing great things. But we have tried to give expression to the positive things going on in our communities of color.

We made the decision in the beginning to provide positive coverage. The way that I saw it was the African American community had received bad, negative press for over 400 years. In our humble way, we tried to give balance through positive coverage in order to create a positive, cosmopolitan environment in the Madison area.

It has been a privilege to serve the Madison community in this capacity for 18 years — 25 years counting my time as editor of The Madison Times. In that time, I have probably done over 3,000 interviews and covered innumerable events. I have interviewed neighborhood leaders and even Maya Angelou in a phone interview and covered Barack Obama from before he announced his run to the presidency through the end of his second term.

Madison, it’s been a pleasure and I pray that by the grace of God we will all be here next year to begin our 20th year.