MADISON, Wis. — Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler and Democratic National Committee Member and former WisDems Chair Martha Love released the following statement in honor of Black History Month:

Democratic National Committee Member Martha Love:

“Each February, we take time to honor, reflect, and tell the stories of inspirational Black leaders and trailblazers who paved the path for a better future for Wisconsin and our country. From the settlement of those fleeing enslavement at Cheyenne Valley, to Lloyd Barbee’s fight to integrate Milwaukee’s public schools, to the trailblazing career of Hank Aaron, Wisconsin has been witness to a great history of survival, struggle, and triumph.

“As we reflect on the stories of Black Wisconsinites this month, we must also remember the stories being written each day by Black leaders and working people across our state. We continue to struggle with great inequities, and we face persistent attacks on our freedom to vote and  hard-won civil rights that threaten to undo the progress of previous generations – we still can’t breathe.

“Only by telling the stories of our past and present can we all advance to honor, protect, and celebrate Black history and lives.”

Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Ben Wikler: 

“This Black History Month, we honor the many Black Wisconsinites who shaped our state and country, working to create a better future for all, and recommit to carrying forward their work. From Mabel Raimey, who became the first Black woman to earn admission to the Wisconsin state bar in 1927, to Vel Phillips, the first Black Wisconsinite elected to statewide office, to the Black elected officials at every level today, we are a state shaped by the legacy and ongoing efforts of Black civic leaders and public servants. All of us benefit when we share the stories of their work.

“History is more than simply a story of the path we’ve walked, the progress hard-won, and the injustices and mistakes we can’t afford to repeat – it’s a map to the journey in front of us. By lifting up  the stories of the struggle and triumph of Black Wisconsinites, we advance the great work of a more just and prosperous Wisconsin.”

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