WUWM: Race & Ethnicity Reporting

Race impacts so much. It’s not just the headlines and the statistics, it is a thing that is constantly shaping us - our work, our health, our relationships, our spirituality, our identity… It’s hard to make sense of it all.

That's why WUWM pays special attention to issues of race and ethnicity in southeastern Wisconsin.

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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.

One local blogger is taking an interesting twist on Black History Month. 

Cree Myles is curating Black Like We Never Left, in which she asks Milwaukee women artists of color to reinterpret and celebrate pieces by nationally-known women artists of color who’ve come before them.

The visual arts component of the project is currently up at CannedBeatz Art Space on the city's south side. 

Photo courtesy of WisconsinEye

At the first State of Black and Brown Wisconsin address in Madison Monday, members of the Black and Latino Caucus focused on the racial disparities that continue to challenge the advancement of people of color in the state.

The lawmakers highlighted disparities in housing, education, health and employment.

One of the participants was Milwaukee state Sen. LaTonya Johnson. She shared statistics that illustrate disparities in education between black and brown children, versus white children.

American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY and Boston, MA

More than 50 years removed from the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, a new Milwaukee exhibit is shining a light on the collaborative efforts of two groups in the struggle.

The Jewish Museum Milwaukee’s exhibit Allied in the Fight: Jews, Blacks and the Struggle for Civil Rights examines the relationship between Jewish and African-American people - both nationally and in Milwaukee itself.

Milwaukee Teachers' Education Association

By several key measures, Wisconsin’s black-white disparities in education are the highest in the country. Last year, the state Department of Public Instruction crafted a plan to cut the achievement gap in half. It’s a plan that was required under federal education policy.

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.

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.

 

It seemed like the controversy involving NFL players kneeling during the national anthem had died down a bit — that is until President Trump stirred up a hornet's nest Friday night during a campaign trip to Alabama.

Trump unleashed a tirade of strong comments against NFL players who don't stand during the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner."

Updated at 5 p.m. ET Sunday

Editor's note: This story contains language that some might find offensive.

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…

 

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