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2015 - 2016 LEGISLATURE
January 22, 2016 - Introduced by Senators L. Taylor, Harris Dodd, C. Larson,
Ringhand, Risser and Shilling, cosponsored by Representatives Young,
Johnson, Barnes, Berceau, Brostoff, Danou, Genrich, Goyke, Hebl, Hintz,
Horlacher, Jorgensen, Kessler, Macco, Mason, Milroy, Murphy, Ohnstad,
Pope, Shankland, Sinicki, Subeck, C. Taylor, Zamarripa, Zepnick and Bowen.
Referred to Committee on Senate Organization.
SJR84,1,1 1Relating to: proclaiming February 2016 as Black History Month.
SJR84,1,32 Whereas, Americans have recognized black history annually since 1926, first
3as "Negro History Week" and later as "Black History Month"; and
SJR84,1,64 Whereas, we are commemorating the 51st anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights
5Act, which drew from many African Americans taking a positive stance on breaking
6down the barriers to racial equality; and
SJR84,1,97 Whereas, African Americans in Wisconsin have made and continue to make
8outstanding contributions to our communities, and it is important to recognize the
9work of these leaders to combat negative stereotypes; and
SJR84,1,1210 Whereas, Ezekiel Gillespie, born in Tennessee as a slave, purchased his
11freedom to go north; Ezekiel sold groceries and operated a local branch of the
12Underground Railroad, helping hundreds of African Americans escape slavery; and
SJR84,1,1413 Whereas, Ezekiel Gillespie tied faith to the African-American community; he
14helped open Wisconsin's first black church; and
1Whereas, Ezekiel Gillespie also led the charge for African-American suffrage
2when, in 1865, Ezekiel attempted to vote and was denied a ballot, and Ezekiel went
3on to sue for his right to vote in Gillespie v. Palmer   , which led to the Wisconsin
4Supreme Court enforcing the 1849 referendum in favor of African-American male
5suffrage; and
SJR84,2,106 Whereas, Clayborn Benson, a native of Milwaukee, faced many challenges as
7an impoverished youth of color; he graduated from the old West Division High School
8despite being labeled "learning disabled;" he became the founder and executive
9director of the Black Historical Society and Museum, which documents and
10preserves the historical heritage of people of African descent in Wisconsin; and
SJR84,2,1611 Whereas, James Hightower III, on June 15, 2013, at the age of 12, became the
12youngest African American in American history to earn the honor of Eagle Scout,
13scouting's highest honor; James Hightower III, for his Eagle Scout service project,
14rebuilt six bleachers at the three baseball fields of Kletzsch Park and led recruitment
15and fundraising efforts for this massive undertaking that enriched the Glendale and
16Milwaukee communities; and
SJR84,2,1917 Whereas, James Hightower III is an inspiration for children and adults in
18Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin for his commitment to bettering communities;
SJR84,2,2520 Whereas, many African Americans have served in the legislature, including
21former senators Spencer Coggs, Gary George, Gwendolynne Moore, and Monroe
22Swan and former representatives Lloyd Barbee, Cecil B. Brown Jr., Elizabeth Coggs,
23Marcia P. Coggs, Isaac Coggs, Jason Fields, Tamara Grigsby, Raymond Lee Lathan,
24Johnnie Morris-Tatum, Lucien Palmer, Antonio Riley, Le Roy Simmons, Walton
25Bryan Stewart, Barbara Toles, and Robert Turner; and
1Whereas, these individuals were able to achieve these deeds only because of the
2social movement towards racial equality in the past decades; and
SJR84,3,53 Whereas, because incidents of racism still exist today, it is in the public interest
4to continue to advocate for full inclusion and equality for individuals of color; now,
5therefore, be it
SJR84,3,9 6Resolved by the senate, the assembly concurring, That the Wisconsin
7legislature recognizes February 2016 as Black History Month and extends thanks
8and praise to the above-named persons for their contributions to the state of
9Wisconsin and their fellow citizens.
SJR84,3,1010 (End)