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2019 - 2020 LEGISLATURE
February 11, 2020 - Introduced by Representatives L. Myers, Crowley, Fields,
Bowen, Haywood, Stubbs, Cabrera, Hebl, Kolste, Steineke, Sargent,
Emerson, Gruszynski, Zamarripa, Vruwink, Pope, Vining, Allen, Horlacher,
Shankland, Milroy, Billings, Hintz, Sinicki, Anderson, C. Taylor, James,
Neubauer, Duchow, Subeck, Spreitzer, Hesselbein, Doyle, Thiesfeldt,
Ramthun, Considine, Brostoff, Kurtz and Ohnstad, cosponsored by Senators
L. Taylor, Johnson, Carpenter, Schachtner, Kooyenga, Risser, Shilling,
Larson, Bewley, Ringhand, Miller, Erpenbach and Wirch. Referred to
Committee on Rules.
AJR134,1,1 1Relating to: proclaiming February 2020 as Black History Month.
AJR134,1,42 Whereas, Black History Month provides a deliberate opportunity to reflect on
3the common humanity underlying all people and to raise awareness and foster
4respect for the heritage and contributions of people of African descent; and
AJR134,1,75 Whereas, African Americans have been living and working in Wisconsin since
6the 18th century, and records of their baptisms, marriages, and burials indicate that
7they were woven into the fabric of early life in the state; and
AJR134,1,108 Whereas, Wisconsin history first references African descendants in a speech
9given in 1725 by a chief of the Illinois Indians, in which he said “a negro belonging
10to Monsieur de Boisbriant" at Green Bay; and
AJR134,1,1411 Whereas, the United States has recognized black history annually since
12February 12, 1926, first as “Negro History Week" and later as “Black History Month,"
13by noted Harvard scholar and historian Dr. Carter G. Woodson, celebrating the
14ethnic and racial diversity that enriches and strengthens our nation; and
1Whereas, both enslaved and free people of African descent have participated in
2every aspect of America's effort to secure, protect, and advance the cause of freedom
3and civil rights and have stories that are an inspiration to all citizens, that reflect
4the triumph of the human spirit and offer the hopes of everyday people to rise above
5both prejudice and circumstance and to build lives of dignity; and
AJR134,2,76 Whereas, people of African descent have made measurable differences in their
7respective industries, people such as:
AJR134,2,10 8 PFC Anna Mae Robertson—member of the 6888th Central Postal Directory
9Battalion, the only Women's Army Corps all-black battalion that served overseas in
10World War II;
AJR134,2,12 11 Mabel Watson Raimey—Wisconsin's first black female attorney and first
12African American female graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison;
AJR134,2,14 13 Susan Bazzelle Ellis and Millie White French—the first African American
14teachers hired by Milwaukee Public Schools;
AJR134,2,18 15 Jay Mayo “Ink” Williams—pioneering producer of recorded blues music.
16Williams was the most successful “race records” producer of his time, breaking all
17previous records for sales in the genre. His work was key to keeping the Paramount
18Records label of Grafton, Wisconsin afloat;
AJR134,2,24 19 Paul Jones—an enslaved leadworker in Sinsinawa, Grant County, Wisconsin,
20who sued his employer George W. Jones for $1,133 for trespassing on a promise to
21pay him wages. Paul Jones lost his case because enslaved people were not considered
22citizens, and therefore could not claim lost wages. Jones continued to work until his
23emancipation in 1842, when he settled with other free blacks in the Pleasant Ridge
24community in Iowa County;
1 Lillian Fishburne—the first African American female to be promoted to the
2rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. Fishburne served as the chief of naval
3operations in Washington, DC;
AJR134,3,7 4 Richard Arrington, Jr.—the first black mayor of the city of Birmingham,
5Alabama, serving from 1979 to 1999. Arrington was the driving force behind the
6creation of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, a museum dedicated to telling the
7story of Birmingham, an epicenter of the struggle for racial and civil rights;
AJR134,3,10 8 Kurtis Walker—known by his stage name “Kurtis Blow”, Walker is a
9songwriter, rapper, and record/film producer. He was one of the first commercially
10successful rappers and the first to sign with a major record label;
AJR134,3,15 11 Mildred Harpole—Milwaukee educator, civil rights activist, Marquette
12University graduate, and community leader who helped organize Freedom Schools
13to teach children about the effects of racism during the 1964 citywide school boycott
14to fight school segregation and went on to become a powerful advocate for fair
15housing by working at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development;
AJR134,3,19 16 Dr. Rogers Onick—retired longtime Milwaukee Public Schools principal,
17president of Metropolitan Milwaukee Alliance of Black School Educators, and active
18community volunteer who generously supports students and teachers and shares his
19expertise with school leaders across Wisconsin;
AJR134,3,24 20 Dr. O.C. White—African American community leader and civil servant,
21affectionately known as Milwaukee's black mayor, who created a job training
22program in the 1960s that helped numerous African American men and women find
23work in housing construction and, from the 1960s to the 1980s, served as a vital voice
24for WAWA radio;
1 Ceasar Stinson—a lobbyist for Milwaukee Public Schools for nearly two
2decades, Stinson was a community advocate known for his keen understanding of
3legislative policy and commitment to violence prevention. The frequent leader of a
4weekly open meeting for black men to examine important issues impacting their
5lives, Stinson, who tragically died in a January 2020 car accident, truly made his
6voice heard and unforgettable;
AJR134,4,11 7 Tyrone Dumas—architect and educational consultant whose studies on how
8having a driver's license impacts job acquisitions, Dumas has drawn attention to the
9severity of reckless driving in Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin. Dumas' work
10has resulted in his recommended strategies to reduce the danger of this
11life-and-death challenge for all citizens;
AJR134,4,16 12 Kwabena Antoine Nixon—a poet, youth development leader, and cofounder
13of the I Will Not Die Young Campaign and the Flood the Hood with Dreams
14organization, Nixon works to address the trauma that black boys and men face daily
15in the city of Milwaukee by providing them with a place where they can use writing
16and poetry to share their own stories;
AJR134,4,20 17 Muhibb Dyer—a nationally recognized poet and cofounder of the I Will Not
18Die Young Campaign and the Flood the Hood with Dreams organization, travels the
19country as a motivational speaker dedicated to helping African Americans develop
20the “fortitude to make it through and make something of their lives”;
AJR134,4,24 21 Deborah Blanks—former CEO of the Social Development Commission,
22Blanks writes eye-opening reports and books, such as Weaving Diversity Into the
23Fabric of America
, that explore how people of color can achieve greater economic
1 Geraud Blanks—director of cultures and communities at Milwaukee Film,
2Blanks draws on his extensive knowledge of media depictions of gender and race and
3film history while selecting films for the organization's Black Lens program, one of
4the country's largest film programs exclusively devoted to featuring the work of
5African American directors;
AJR134,5,11 6 Camille Mays—a board member of Milwaukee Crime Stoppers and
7community activist with the Sherman Park Community Organization, Mays
8founded the Peace Garden Project MKE, an initiative that replaces makeshift
9shrines for victims of homicide and car crashes with permanent landscaped
10memorials. Mays works “every day, every night, every minute” to make Milwaukee
11a safer and more peaceful place;
AJR134,5,15 12 Tatiana Washington—leading organizer for 50 Miles More and Team Enough,
13two student organizations committed to curbing gun violence in schools and
14communities. Washington remains a powerful and passionate voice for change and
15stricter gun laws;
AJR134,5,19 16 Kobe Bryant—the youngest starting all-star in NBA history, two-time
17Olympic gold medalist in basketball, and five-time NBA champion with the Los
18Angeles Lakers. Bryant was also an Academy Award-winning film producer and
AJR134,5,22 20 Gianna Bryant—award winning-basketball player with the Amateur
21Athletic Union (AAU). Bryant was a stellar student-athlete and youth ambassador
22for girls in sports; and
AJR134,6,323 Whereas, while acknowledging the work of these leaders, it is equally critical
24to appreciate, both past and present, the long list of contributions of our fellow
25citizens. Black History Month gives Wisconsinites an occasion to recognize the

1significant influence people of African heritage have made, and continue to make, in
2the areas of medicine, art, politics, human rights, education, sports, and economic
3development; now, therefore, be it
AJR134,6,7 4Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the Wisconsin
5Legislature recognizes February 2020 as Black History Month and extends
6appreciation to the above-named persons for their contributions to the state of
7Wisconsin and the country and their fellow citizens.
AJR134,6,88 (End)