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Wisconsin’s Black Legislative Caucus kicks off Black History Month

Representative Dora Drake speaking at the state capitol.
Representative Dora Drake speaking at the state capitol.

It's finally Black History Month and to celebrate, Wisconsin's Black Legislative Caucus kicked off the month at the state Capitol building. Lawmakers and others present wore traditional African attire and sang the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and sing.

Speakers included State Representative Supreme Moore Omokunde of Milwaukee. He took the time to acknowledge the History of African Americans.

"Our history did not begin as captives when we were captured, tortured, and human trafficked across the Atlantic Ocean and brought here to heighten capitalism and be free labor for folks. People who have been through what we've been through and have come to be sitting where we are and doing the things that we're doing right now," says Omokunde.

Leaders such as Representative Dora Drake of Milwaukee took the stage to announce the Black Caucus would be leading learning and networking initiatives all month.

Drake said they range from hosting a blood drive at Vincent High School to holding a Black Lobby day at the capitol where folks from the community can talk about issues that matter to them.

"I think we can save the best for last: Black Lobby Day and this is in partnership with Wisconsin Legislative Action Coalition to not only encourage people to come to the capitol, that may have never had the chance to come before, but to engage with legislators to speak to the importance of civic engagement," says Drake.

The group of legislators also took the time to acknowledge students attending the event.

"There are youth here. And we do not do a good enough job making sure that they are in the front, that we uplift them and that we make sure we give them the tools to thrive and succeed. So I am extremely happy that I see students and youth here among us today," says Drake.

Drake concluded by saying that fear is the breeding ground for ignorance, and events by the Black Caucus this month are to help the Black community in Wisconsin grow.

Support for the Eric Von Broadcast Fellowship is provided, in part, by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

Kobe Brown was WUWM's fifth Eric Von fellow.
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