Project Milwaukee: Black & White

Race Relations in Milwaukee

Milwaukee has long held the reputation, deservingly or not, of being one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Race relations in our community continue to impact education, economic development and our neighborhoods.

In June of 2009, WUWM News and Lake Effect journalists examined the history and evolution of black-white relations in Milwaukee. Project Milwaukee: Black & White explored how race relations have improved, and where there is still room for growth.

It’s been said that Sunday is the most segregated day of the week. And there’s research to back up the notion. For whatever reasons, different ethnicities tend to not worship together, no matter the religion. As part of our Project Milwaukee series on race relations, WUWM’s LaToya Dennis visits a local church where diversity is actually part of the appeal.

We continue our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, examining race relations in the city.

WUWM’s Susan Bence visited New Hope Missionary Baptist Church on the northeast side, as members gathered for a weekly discussion group.

They shared their experiences and views of race relations in Milwaukee.

Talking It Out

Jun 18, 2009

We continue our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, examining race relations in the city.

We discovered a group that gathers once a month specifically to talk about race. WUWM’s Susan Bence attended a recent meeting.

Robert Miranda is the editor and publisher of the Spanish Journal; he’s also the Executive Director of Esperanza Unida, Inc. in Milwaukee. Troy Shaw is President and CEO of TDS Management, which produces diversity-themed television programming. They spoke with Mitch Teich about their frustrations about the state of relations between Milwaukee’s African-American and Hispanic communities and the white community.

Race & Milwaukee's LGBT Community

Jun 17, 2009

Maria Cadenas is the executive director of the Cream City Foundation, and Brenda Coley is the director of adult services for the Milwaukee-based Diverse & Resilient. They spoke with Stephanie Lecci about how the broader state of race relations in Milwaukee gets reflected in the LGBT community.

Della Wells is a visual artist, founder of ABEA and on the board of the Museum of Wisconsin Art in West Bend. Reynaldo Hernandez is an artist, muralist and illustrator. Dr. Walter Sava is the Executive Director of the Latino Historical Society of Wisconsin, and has worked with Latino Arts, the Greater Milwaukee Education Trust, Latinos United for Political Action, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Latinos' Impact on Race Relations

Jun 17, 2009

Today we bring the Latino population into our Project Milwaukee series on race relations. The number of Latinos in Milwaukee County has been growing rapidly – up 40 percent since the year 2000. Now, Latinos make up 12 percent of the county’s population. WUWM’s Erin Toner reports on how this demographic shift has impacted the area’s racial dynamic.

Our Project Milwaukee series about race relations continues now on WUWM. Today, we talk about a newer wave of immigrants to the city: Latinos. They now comprise 12 percent of the population of Milwaukee County, or more than 114,000 residents. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on the Latino movement here and how it compares with the black and white experiences.

How Children Understand Race

Jun 16, 2009

Erin Winkler is an assistant professor in the Department of Africology at UWM. She spoke with Stephanie Lecci about how children learn to perceive race and how we consider it as adults.

Laura Snyder plays double bass for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Bruce Cole is a working drummer and the Development Librarian for the Jean Cujé Milwaukee Music Collection at Marquette University. Snyder begins the conversation by remembering the racial makeup of Milwaukee Symphony when she arrived from New York City almost 40 years ago.

Jill Florence-Lackey is the Executive Director of the Milwaukee-based firm, Urban Anthropology, Incorporated. The group has studied Milwaukee’s cultural groups for more than a decade. It also takes people on tours of Milwaukee's ethnic communities, including the area which was once Bronzeville. Florence-Lackey explained to Mitch Teich what the factors were that led to the creation of Bronzeville.

Race & Baseball

Jun 16, 2009

Jerry Poling is the Assistant City Editor of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. He's author of the book A Summer Up North: Henry Aaron and the Legend of Eau Claire Baseball, about Hank Aaron's year playing minor league baseball in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, published by The University of Wisconsin Press. He spoke with Mitch Teich from Eau Claire.

Last hour, as part of our Project Milwaukee series on race relations, we presented the views of local teenagers who belong to minority groups. Now we visit Cudahy High School to speak with white students. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis discovered, the conversations produced similar themes. I began the conversation with students at Cudahy High School by asking one question. Sophomore Ben Rejniak was first.

We add some new voices to our Project Milwaukee series: Black & White, as we continue examining race relations in the city.

WUWM’s Susan Bence talked with several interracial couples to learn about their lives and some of the challenges they face.

Teens Speak on Race

Jun 16, 2009

We’re continuing on with our Project Milwaukee series exploring race relations in Milwaukee. This morning WUWM’s LaToya Dennis brought us four inner city teens of various skin colors. They spoke to her about the importance of race and ethnicity and how it impacts their lives. This afternoon, we’ll pick up where we left off this morning. We’ll here from those same teens about segregation in Milwaukee and stereotypes. There’s a lot of research out there that pinpoints Milwaukee as being one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Some people say you can guess which side of town someone lives on simply based on their ethnicity. I wanted to know if that was true, so I asked the teens about their neighborhoods.