The Juneteenth Day flag is now raised at Milwaukee's City Hall

NOW: The Juneteenth Day flag is now raised at Milwaukee’s City Hall


MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Juneteenth Day in 2020 was a quieter event than usual due to the ongoing public health crisis. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Juneteenth in Milwaukee, and the celebrations are starting early.

The Juneteenth flag went up at Milwaukee's City Hall on Tuesday, June 15, four days before the actual observance. The celebration marks the end of slavery in America, not the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, but the day in 1865 when word finally reached the last remaining slaves that they were free.

While that is cause for celebration, it is not the end of the struggle.

"As much as we celebrate Juneteenth, we also recognize that there are injustices that are still happening, that Black people are still experiencing. So we use this as a means to say, although we've reached a plateau, we have ways to go," Jamaal Smith, with the Office of Violence Prevention, said.

While many of last year's Juneteenth Day events were canceled because of the pandemic, 2020 did mark the first time the flag was raised at City Hall, a new tradition that continues in 2021. 

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