Thursday, February 25, 2010
Rep. Toles 608-266-5580
Sen. Taylor 608-266-5810
Legislature Honors the Contributions of African-Americans
Black History Month Celebration a Great Success
(MADISON) The Wisconsin Legislature took a short break from its work this Thursday to honor the contributions of African-Americans with a Special Program at the State Capitol. The program, which took place in the Senate Parlor, was organized by the Black & Hispanic Caucus of the Legislature. The celebration featured songs, remarks, and the honoring of the lives of notable African-Americans in Wisconsin. Thirteen distinguished African-Americans, as well as
past African-American State Legislators were lauded with a joint resolution of the legislature thanking them for their dedication and service.
Honorees Included important African-American figures such as William L. Sims, who was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service in the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War, as well as Ezekiel Gillespie, who successfully argued before the Wisconsin Supreme Court that an 1849 referendum granting African-American men the right to vote was valid, thus granting enfranchisement more than 4 years before passage of the 15th Amendment.
Music for the program was provided by Mr. Tony Neal, a noted Milwaukee DJ and nightclub owner. Remarks were heard by Speaker of the Assembly, Mike Sheridan, as well as Representative Barbara Toles, Chair of the Black and Hispanic Caucus. A special reading was given by Senator Lena C. Taylor. The invocation and benediction was graciously spoken by Senior Pastor Walter Harvey of the Parklawn Assembly of God.