Black & White Race Relations in Milwaukee

Lois Quinn is a senior scientist for the Employment and Training Institute at the UW-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education. She spoke with Mitch Teich as part of our Project Milwaukee: Black and White series on disparities in jobless rates and barriers to employment.

Margaret Henningsen is the Founder and Executive Vice President of Legacy Bank, located on Fond du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee. It was chartered 10 years ago next month. She explains why creating opportunities for entrepreneurship and homeownership in the African American community has been of primary importance to her.

So-Called 'White Flight'

Jun 15, 2009

Amanda Seligman is a professor of history and the director of the Urban Studies program at UWM. She tells Stephanie Lecci how the concept of so-called “white flight” is often over-simplified.

Milwaukee has long held a reputation of being segregated: with blacks living primarily on the north side and whites on the south.

In today’s installment of Project Milwaukee: Black and White, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited establishments on both sides of town, to ask blacks and whites about their interactions with each other.

Our Project Milwaukee: Black and White series continues this morning, with a report on a program that brings together professionals of different races. The idea is to increase understanding among the races, in hopes they'll influence their workplace and the larger community. However, some claim the program only scratches the surface. WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl has more.

Margaret “Peggy” Rozga is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. She was married to the late civil rights leader James Groppi from the time he left the priesthood in 1976 until his death in 1985. Patrick Jones is Assistant Professor of History and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and author of The Selma of the North: Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee, published by Harvard University Press. Margaret Rozga continues to be involved in issues of social inequity; she's also published a collection of poems about the fight for open housing.

Frank Aukofer is the retired Washington Bureau chief of The Milwaukee Journal and its successor, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He is also the author of the book City with a Chance, which chronicled his experiences as a civil rights reporter in Milwaukee; it was first published in 1968. His memoir, Never a Slow Day: Adventures of a 20th Century Newspaper Reporter, was recently published by Marquette University Press. He spoke with Stephanie Lecci on the phone from Seattle.

Milwaukee Civil Rights Walking Tour

Jun 12, 2009

Shirley Butler-Derge is a poet and author of several books. She was an active member of the NAACP Youth Council, and hopes to create a walking tour of Milwaukee sites that were important during the civil rights movement. She takes Stephanie Lecci to a few of those sites, including Rufus King High School, the former location of St. Boniface Church and the 16th Street viaduct.

We continue our series Project Milwaukee: Black and White with a look at school segregation. The push to integrate the schools flared racial tensions here in the 1960s and 1970s. The results of the fight were mixed. WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl has our report.

Words used in the story may be offensive to some, but are integral to the report.

Effects of long term discrimination in Milwaukee rose to a boiling point in the 1960s. The period included a nearly decades long push for fair housing. That struggle was interrupted in 1967 by a violent disturbance which some people still refer to today as the Milwaukee "riot."

Our “Project Milwaukee” series focusing on race relations continues now with a look back at a turbulent time.