Race / Ethnicity

Darklens Photography

Theo Wilson did not imagine his curiosity would find him leading a national conversation about race in the United States.  The rapper, actor, and slam poetry contest winner simply wanted to know more about why people in the alt-right movement thought and felt the way they did.

So, Wilson assumed an online white supremacist persona called “Lucius25” and spent about six months interacting with people on those forums. And he learned a lot, not just about them, but about himself and his own echo-chamber.

LaToya Dennis

Why aren’t there more positive portrayals of black men in the news? That’s the question 18-year-old Terrance Robinson, 14-year-old Victor Barnett Jr., 17-year-old Darius Simmons and 16-year-old Ashanti Travers posed to WUWM’s Bubbler Talk.

In order to attempt to answer this question, I had to enlist a few media professionals.

WUWM's year-end Life's Voices series continues with a profile of Robert Biko Baker. After earning at Ph.D. in history from UCLA, Baker -- a Milwaukee native -- returned home to make a difference. 

After the Sherman Park uprising last year, Baker launched an internet series called "My Black Story" to tell more complete stories about African Americans and Milwaukee. He talked with WUWM's LaToya Dennis about his background, and how he got involved in creating the internet series.

Marti Mikkelson

Many African-American men in Milwaukee face a number of challenges, including unemployment, poverty and mass incarceration. But, a two-day summit that’s underway is helping black teens and boys overcome some of those barriers. Several young people we spoke with talked about the hurdles they face.

Aisha Turner

This week’s Bubbler Talk is rooted deep in Wisconsin history... in the story of escaped slave Joshua Glover. Glover fled Missouri for Wisconsin in 1852 and was imprisoned in Milwaukee under the Fugitive Slave Law.

You can see parts of his story driving on Fond du Lac towards Milwaukee’s downtown. A large mural spans the walls of the I-43 underpass. It depicts abolitionists storming the jail, helping Glover escape to freedom in Canada.

Zohar / Fotolia

Today and tomorrow mark the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the time when the Nazi campaign to eradicate Jews in Germany became explicit and violence against them commonplace.

Courtesy of Vaun Mayes Bey

Murder in Milwaukee -- that’s the name of a new documentary from the BBC. The documentary chronicles the Milwaukee Police Department as they work to curb gun violence, and looks at the relationship between police and African Americans. But the depiction of Milwaukee as a “lawless” city has angered some community activists.

Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society

The late Lloyd Barbee is perhaps best known as the lawyer and state legislator who fought to desegregate Milwaukee’s public schools. A new book lays out just how broad Barbee’s fight for justice was.

Beyond education, Barbee pushed for open housing, women’s rights, and decolonization. He would often sign his letters with the quote - “Justice For All.” And that’s the title of the new book, Justice for All: Selected Writings of Lloyd A. Barbee.

The book is edited by his daughter -- another civil rights attorney -- Daphne Barbee-Wooten.

Dontre Hamilton Documentary Comes Home to Milwaukee

Sep 28, 2017
Jennifer Johnson

The 2017 Milwaukee Film Festival kicks off this week. Its centerpiece film takes us into a story familiar to many Milwaukeeans. In 2014 Dontre Hamilton was killed by a police officer in downtown Milwaukee.

 

The Blood is at the Doorstep, from director Erik Ljung, follows Hamilton’s family as they grieve, heal, and fight for change in their city.

 

Aisha Turner

If you were to witness someone being harassed would you know what to do? A group of Milwaukeeans is teaching people how to step in and calm potentially violent situations. 

Bystander intervention training is designed to build confidence so more people feel comfortable confronting racism, homophobia, and other kinds of harassment.

Race and Ethnicity Reporter Aisha Turner sat in on one of these trainings.

On a Friday night at the Riverwest Public House, facilitator Stephanie Roades gathers about 15 people for class: “We're gonna start with a basic warm up.”

Rowing Against the Tide of a Segregated City

Sep 15, 2017
Aisha Turner

Torpedo-shaped boats raced along the Menomonee and Milwaukee Rivers this weekend, as rowing teams competed in the annual regatta. It was the 17th Annual Milwaukee River Challenge.

 

Proceeds from a weekend benefit will sponsor a new program to help diversify the Milwaukee Rowing Club. Race and Ethnicity Reporter Aisha Turner visited the Rowing Club's middle school team over the summer to learn about its efforts to bring new participants into the sport.

 

Aisha Turner

Mothers Against Gun Violence organized an event Friday to bring attention to the importance of life insurance.

I believe I can fly… I believe I can touch the sky…

 

Debra Fifer raised her right hand in praise as Marshé Whaley belted into the microphone…

 

I think about it every night and day… spread my wings and fly away… I believe I can soar… see me running through that open door…

 

WTMJ-TV, Wisconsin Historical Society, and UW-Milwaukee Libraries

It was 50 years ago that the open housing marches began in Milwaukee. For 200 nights civil rights activists marched from the mostly black northside over the 16th Street Bridge to city’s predominately white southside. They demanded a law to end discriminatory housing practices that prevented African Americans from living in white areas of the city.

 

A teenager named Prentice McKinney was at the center of those marches, leading the NAACP Youth Commandos.

Aisha Turner

On Saturday, Milwaukeeans rallied in response to the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. A large group spread out at the end of Wisconsin Avenue and chanted “white silence is violence” … “love trumps hate” … and “black lives matter.” 

They stood between the Northwestern Mutual Tower and the orange sunburst sculpture in O’Donnell Park. Some cars passing by honked in support.

Pastor Steve Jerbi Reflects On His Time In Milwaukee

Aug 11, 2017
Aisha Turner

Milwaukee has said goodbye to one of its prominent -- and outspoken -- faith leaders. For the last 10 years, Steve Jerbi was senior pastor at All Peoples Church on 2nd and Clarke.

He stood out as a white man leading a predominantly black congregation. He also became known for his passionate pursuit of racial and social justice.

This Sunday -- for the first time in a decade -- the congregation will gather without Jerbi, because he's moving to California to take a position with a church there.