2015 Senate Joint Resolution 41
Relating to: recognizing the nineteenth day of June, 2015, as Juneteenth Day.
Whereas, for more than 150 years, Juneteenth Day remains the most recognized African-American holiday observance in the United States, and is also known as "Emancipation" or "Freedom" Day; and
Whereas, the day commemorates the survival and determination of Africans, who were first kidnapped and brought to this country, stacked in the bottom of slave ships, in a monthlong journey across the Atlantic Ocean, known as the "Middle Passage"; and
Whereas, approximately eleven and a half million Africans survived the voyage to the New World, with estimated deaths during the passage believed to be even greater, were relegated to property and afforded none of the basic rights given any human being, and were enslaved for over 200 years; and
Whereas, Juneteenth Day commemorates the day freedom was declared for all slaves in the south, on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, more than two and one-half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln; and
Whereas, Wisconsin residents, who began observing Juneteenth Day in the 1970s and celebrated in 2009 as the day was elevated to an official state holiday, honor the memory, resilience, and determination of those who embodied Dr. King's quote that "None are free until all are free"; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the legislature of the state of Wisconsin recognizes the nineteenth day of June, 2015, as "Juneteenth Day," and expresses reverence to the strength of conviction for those who fought against oppression and hardship in the quest for equal civil rights, and honors their contributions to the state of Wisconsin and their fellow citizens.