Between 1958 and 1970, a distinctive movement for racial justice emerged from unique circumstances in Milwaukee. A series of local leaders inspired growing numbers of people to participate in campaigns….
Calling All Civil Rights Leaders in Milwaukee
“We Are The Drum – A Rhythm In Wisconsin” – 2012
Since 1990, CAPITA Productions (City At Peace In The Arts) founded by Brother Booker Ashe and others has been presenting a Black History Program yearly for thousands in the Greater Milwaukee Area.
This year we are adding a very special and overdue segment which will celebrate those brave marchers and demonstrators, from all backgrounds, who risked their lives for the cause of civil rights, especially in Milwaukee. It will be a dramatic reenactment of the Underground Railroad, prominent in the Waukesha area; the escaped slave Joshua Grover, and Fr. Jim Groppi’s “March on Milwaukee”.
For 200 consecutive nights hundreds marched for open housing through rain, snow and fear of physical attacks. These heroes have not been properly honored until now. Their stories should be known by our youth as well as everyone in Milwaukee and across the nation.
We are calling on those who lived this experience to share their stories with us in special listening sessions on Tuesday, November 15th and Wednesday November 16th from 5 pm to 8 pm and again November 19th from 10 am to 1 pm. We will meet at North Division Room #102, 1011 West Center Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
We are looking for all those who participated in the demonstrations, served on the NAACP Youth Council, Commandos, and all organizations that led or joined in some way, the historic Milwaukee’s Civil Rights Movement.
If you are interested in attending and would like more information please call 414-397-8661 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. (zero, zero). Otherwise we would love to see you at the meetings. Please share this announcement with everyone. We want to make sure we honor and thank you for your courage and brave acts that moved Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and the nation so powerfully.
An excerpt taken from
The Selma of the North:
Civil Rights Insurgency in Milwaukee
Patrick D Jones
Between 1958 and 1970, a distinctive movement for racial justice emerged from unique circumstances in Milwaukee. A series of local leaders inspired growing numbers of people to participate in campaigns against employment and housing discrimination, segregated public schools, the membership of public officials in discriminatory organizations, welfare cuts, and police brutality.
The Milwaukee movement culminated in the dramatic—and sometimes violent—1967 open housing campaign. A white Catholic priest, James Groppi, led the NAACP Youth Council and Commandos in a militant struggle that lasted for 200 consecutive nights and provoked the ire of thousands of white residents. After working-class mobs attacked demonstrators, some called Milwaukee “the Selma of the North.” Others believed the housing campaign represented the last stand for a nonviolent, interracial, church-based movement.
“We Are The Drum – A Rhythm In Wisconsin” – 2012 Show Dates:
Fri, Feb. 24th, Sat., Feb. 25th, Fri. Mar. 3rd & Sat., Mar. 4th at 7:30 pm-
Tickets will go on sale on Dec. 1st
The dates are: Tues. Feb.21st, Wed, Feb. 22nd, Mon., Feb.27th
& Wed. Feb. 29th at 10am & 12 pm. tickets are $4 per child.
For more info on the student shows, call Liz Coleman- 414-807-7322
You can find more about CAPITA by visiting us on our Facebook Page
or Twitter @CAPITAProd
New Berlin Racists or Protecting Their Way Of Life?
Recently New Berlin shot down a proposal that would allow development of low-income/disabled housing. Residents opposed the new development citing concerns of race and the “type” of people the development would attract.
Do you think race played a role?
Of course it did. Witnessing what the folks in New Berlin see all day, every day on TV would you want that in your backyard? Do they have a right to be concerned or are their fears justified?
After all some of those “New Berlinites” moved there to get away from the urban issues they despise in the first place. Why should they have to be forced to take on new residents who show little concern for how they live, tear up property and more importantly bring down property values?
So what do you think family? Are they right to be concerned or should they open up their doors and take a chance, hoping that their new neighbors would be great assets to the community? I think they have a fair point but I also think it speaks to the segregation problems the city and state face, well choose to ignore in large part.
For those who might live in the development, would they want to live there knowing they are not welcome? What kinds of problems would that spark, cross burnings, fights, outrage?
I think they are right to be concerned but does that make them racists or concerned citizens fighting to keep an expected standard on their way of life?
Here is the story from the Journal Sentinel:
By Mike Johnson of the Journal Sentinel
April 26, 2011 4:20 p.m. | New Berlin — The race of potential tenants of MSP Real Estate’s proposed low-income housing project played no role in the city’s decision to reject the development, and MSP’s lawsuit alleging the city is violating federal law by blocking the project should be dismissed, the city says.
MSP filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee last month, contending that race was a key factor in the city’s decision to rescind approval of the low-income housing and senior apartments proposed for the City Center just months after the project was approved.
MSP is seeking $12,995,996 in compensatory damages and an unspecified amount in punitive damages, according to the lawsuit.
In the suit, MSP alleges the city and Mayor Jack Chiovatero violated both the federal Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Some of the planned apartments were going to be disabled-accessible, the lawsuit says.
The city in a response filed in court April 12 acknowledges that there was community opposition to MSP’s proposal and that “some of it was based upon issues of race.”
But the development was rejected because MSP’s proposal failed to comply with city ordinances and other guidelines for development, the city says.
Among the problems, MSP’s proposal did not include the required number of parking spaces and MSP had not properly created the parcel on which the development was to be built, the city contends.
MSP’s site included land that was part of Deer Creek condominiums, but the company did not have the consent from condo owners to use that parcel, the city says.
“Despite what might have been going on in the community and the opinions expressed by some members of the public, the fact remains that these unresolved legal issues were fatal to this project and would have precluded it from moving forward under any circumstances,” City Attorney Mark G. Blum says in New Berlin’s response.
MSP issued a statement Tuesday standing by its contention that race was a factor.
“This development received legal approvals, which were reversed,” MSP said in the statement. “The mayor has admitted that he recognized and gave in to opposition to this project based upon race, which we believe prompted the reversal of approvals and violates federal law.”
Turing Earth Day Black!
Environmental Injustices Affecting The Black Community and Earth Day
You think of Earth Day and you think of white folks planting trees and other such fluff. What you need to know is that African Americans, especially those of us in the highly populated areas of Mother Earth are the ones who need to be vigilant about Earth Day, every day!
What Is Earth Day?
Short version…April 22, 1970, Gaylord Nelson-Governor of Wisconsin declared Earth Day, a way to call the nation’s attention to the issues of Earth and our need to be better caretakers of it.
This year’s theme is “A Billion Acts of Green.”
“Black Americans are disproportionately exposed to environmental injustices and life-threatening pollutions and toxic hazards. These dangerous problems are local, statewide, regional, national and international. In Harlem, South Central Los Angeles, Southside Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, New Orleans, and in just about every other place in America where we reside, we find ourselves disproportionately with high rates of asthma and other respiratory diseases, multiple forms of cancer, and other sicknesses that are directly related to harmful exposure to environmental hazards in the air that we breathe, as well as in the water and food that we consume.”
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
There are many reports that link the food we eat to the ever changing hormonal imbalance our young girls especially, are facing. PMS (Premenstrual Symptoms) or worse PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), cause ongoing depression, anger and rage, difficulty concentrating, overeating, and fatigue to name a few. You may also notice that our young girls are bigger and “curvier” than ever before. How many times have you walked passed a young woman and noticed that she is built like a full grown woman? This has also been linked to the hormones found in our food and water supplies that can cause lifelong imbalances in all of us.
Think of all the toxins farm animals are injected with and that our fresh produce is really jacked up with hormones to make it bigger, grow faster, and be more appealing to the eye. We are poisoning ourselves while we think we are eating healthy. In fact some of our produce and bottled water is as cancer causing as a lit cigarette! We read about lead poisoning and our water supply and the connections to cancer every day!
We can’t even swim in Lake Michigan but yet we are exposed to its effects every day. As soon as it gets warm where do we all head? You really want to know what MMSD has swimming around in those “overflows” and sewage dumping that we keep side stepping?
What are we as a community doing to ward off some of the toxins we are exposed to especially in big metropolises like Milwaukee? Earth Day is OUR chance to remind the entire community about the need to be good stewards of our planet. It is not a white issue at all. It is definitely a black issue as well. It’s an “everybody” issue! We all need to work together to begin making our urban areas safer.
Another case-in-point for you:
“Did you know that many of the growing lists of so-called “learning disabilities” that affect too many of the children in the Black American community maybe environmentally related to exposures from lead poisoning and other toxic substances laced in many of our neighborhoods?”
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
This is indeed scary! Is it any wonder why our kids are falling so far behind? If they live and breathe toxins every day and can’t focus, how can we expect anyone to teach them anything?
So How Do We Make Earth Day Black?
Taking Earth Day and making it Black must remain a priority issue for us. It does not have to be trivial, stupid, or a labor of wasted time. In fact families can use the time to do something useful and unifying like planting that tree or starting a garden, or cleaning up. When is the last time you saw a young person walking around your neighborhood with trash bags and gloves and repairing the damage some of their friends cause? How many people do we see littering all over the place but we keep on walking and think what a horrible person?
Do you talk to your kids or young people, or even talk to some of us “adults” about how we livin’? Does the inner city have to look like one big garbage can filled with trash and blight everywhere? Can we unite to call our mayor and aldermen to find grant money to spruce up that abandoned building we all know is sitting there, over a decade, with no promise of anything to come? Can we petition for a park or a place for us to begin gardening or co-ops? We have grants for everything else under the sun! We can use this day to teach our youth that they are not just responsible for themselves, but teach them that they are global citizens. What happens in Japan happens in our backyards too! This is a good time to build community and remind ourselves of our pledge to Kwanzaa the seven guiding principles that should be worked on every day of our lives.
If you are looking for event s in your area, please visit “earthday.org”
And let us not forget to send a shout out to Growing Power a nonprofit entity with an emphasis on this African American community which helps people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner. They did just receive a major grant to help move them and us forward. We need to see more of this kind of “out of the box” thinking in this city!!
Please support them in this major undertaking!
More about African American Environmental Efforts Can Be Found Here:
I leave you with some statistics to help us all understand the damage of Asthma because we all know someone with it. It is one of the largest infiltrators of the Milwaukee African American yet we have some power to change its destructive course if we start to focus on Earth Day and its immediate impacts on our community in particular. Over 3 million African Americans have Asthma and we are 3 times more likely to die from it. Asthma thrives in large part because of our quality of life, or lack thereof.
Asthma and African Americans
• In 2009, about 2,380,000 African Americans reported that they currently have asthma.
• African American women were 30% more likely to have asthma than non-Hispanic White women, from 2001-2003.
• In 2006, African Americans were three times more likely to die from asthma related causes than the White population.
• From 2003-2005, African American children had a death rate 7 times that of non-Hispanic White children.
• African Americans had asthma-related emergency room visits 4.5 times more often than Whites in 2004.
• Black children have a 260% higher emergency department visit rate, a 250% higher hospitalization rate, and a 500% higher death rate from asthma, as compared with White children.
• Children in poor families are more likely to ever have been diagnosed with asthma.
African Americans & Asthma
African Americans have the highest asthma prevalence of any racial/ethnic group. The current asthma prevalence rate among Blacks was 38 percent higher than that for Whites. African Americans account for 26 percent of the 4,200 deaths attributed to asthma in 2001. African Americans were three times more likely to die from asthma than Whites.
A Black American Earth Day
By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., NNPA Columnist
Top 10 Environmental Issues Affecting Urban America
By Talia Whyte
Earth Day turns 40 this year, but many African-Americans have never seen environmentalism as a priority until recently. With Van Jones and Majora Carter becoming household names, green is now the new black. Here is a list of 10 environmental justice issues affecting the black community that should be given full attention by all Americans.
1. Air pollution
Air pollution is a serious problem in communities of color, as poor air quality can contribute to a host of health problems.
2. Industrial Sites and Illegal Waste Dumping
Most communities of color live near power plants, oil refineries or waste management facilities. Industrial waste that is not disposed of appropriately (or legally) can get into the water system and land used for housing and agriculture.. Improper waste dumping creates a host of health problems, ranging from asthma to lung cancer.
3. Mercury Exposure
Fish is an important source of animal proteins and other nutrients, but it can also contain a high percentage of mercury emissions generally from incinerators, coal-burning power plants and other industrial sites, which can have a devastating effect on people of color.
4. Water Safety
Water is considered a fundamental human right, but many communities of color lack safe drinking water, swim near waste-contaminated beaches and live near polluted flood waters.
5. Transit Justice
Public transit is used at a higher rate by more people of color and low income communities than whites.
6. Food deserts
Communities of color are more likely to live in “food deserts” — areas where communities lack access to supermarkets and other sources of affordable, nutritious foods necessary for maintaining a healthy diet. Food deserts play a major role in poor health and environmental degradation.
7. Urban Green Space
As more skyscrapers and industries find homes in urban areas, less green space becomes available, especially for communities of color.
8. Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is possible the most damaging environmental injustice.
9. Climate Change and Basic Living
The growing climate change problem means that people of color and low income communities will soon have to pay more for basic necessities.
10. Heat in the City
Since most people of color live in inner cities, they are twice as likely to die in a heat wave, and suffer from more heat-related stress and illnesses.
This is Not Your Parents Union Anymore!
The New Union Cartels.
For the past few weeks our state has been engaged in a debate over unions and their right to Collectively Bargain and for fair concessions that will keep Wisconsin “open for business.”
A few things struck me as I talked and debated with people from both sides. One thing that was obvious is that there is a large number of people that still think unions are the same organizations they once were fifty years ago when they took hold in our state. In those first years, unions did stand for equality and fairness in the workplace. They championed the middle class worker and voiced opposition to unfair work environments and wages. They offered protection for those who had no other recourse when injustice reared its ugly head.
But fast- forward to 2011, and see what unions have become. They are equal to the fat cat Wall Street tycoons using Collective Bargaining to hold states hostage with unfair demands, moving the pendulum of politics to their side with big money and bullying tactics rival to the DNR and RNC respectively. They own the very health insurance companies that we pay into. Yes United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, and WEA Trust. They are an integral part of the national problem of healthcare gone wrong. Yet your tax dollars fully fund WEA and you can guess what their invoices for medical services look like. If you thought St. Luke’s, Columbia, or Wheaton Franciscan were taxing for aspirin, WEA triple’s the cost and passes the expense on to you, the unknowing taxpayer.
One of many owned and operated union businesses, WEA Trust is an insurance company established by Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC). WEA Trust has grown very fat on public dollars, with a net worth of $316 million and a team of 12 administrators all receiving compensation packages worth six figures per year.
The unions of today pump millions of our tax dollars into campaign funds each year and poison the very fabric of our moral fiber by tainting our elected government and political parties, influencing and misinforming voters, and using bullying tactics equal to “The Godfather” Vito Corleone for Cadillac compensations and benefits for themselves as well and subsequently for their workers. Ask yourselves, how can they afford to reserve hotel rooms and banquet halls, providing computer access and bringing in people from all around the country to harass elected officials and influence the media outlets? Think of the money they must be paying, your money they are paying, to do this ongoing with no end in sight. This is not the union that stands with the working man anymore; they have become fraudulent, exploitive sheep headers leading us all off a cliff, a point of no return. We must rein them in and remind them for who and what they stand if their union members will not.
They can no longer be just seen for what they used to do, fighting for the injustices of innocent union members, standing for equal pay, and such trivial issues. We must begin to see the ugliness of what they actually do as well. Yes there is some good still there, but as with any unattended child, they have regressed into a monster of a villain, hoodwinking many into thinking they are still the innocent virgin at the prom. I assure they are not that anymore! Look how they are willing to sell out 7500 jobs, leaving these unlucky union members unemployed, laid off, or worse, fired. We simply cannot afford to fund the long standing reality that government jobs are superior to the private sector. There should be no “reward” or incentive for one servant’s labor over another. We should all be equally valued workers giving our best. And those who do not serve well should not be protected by a union shill just because. We need to see results for benefits, pay to play if you will!
Most people do not realize the “contributions” unions make in campaign donations, well into the hundreds of millions. People certainly do not realize that unions own some of our elected government. They are not our parents union anymore as they have shown in actions and deeds that they are as corrupt as any corporation or big business enterprise or mogul. Some of our elected have sold their souls to the unions and can no longer represent us fairly and equally, thus debauching the democratic process.
Franklin D Roosevelt, the “New Deal” Democratic president warned against the unholy matrimony of unions and government. In a letter dated July 14, 1937, he stated:
“The desire of Government employees for fair and adequate pay, reasonable hours of work, safe and suitable working conditions, development of opportunities for advancement, facilities for fair and impartial consideration and review of grievances, and other objectives of a proper employee relations policy, is basically no different from that of employees in private industry. Organization on their part to present their views on such matters is both natural and logical, but meticulous attention should be paid to the special relationships and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government.”
This singular issue of government and union relationships compelled the federal government not to allow Collective Bargaining to this day. They knew full well how this relationship would destroy democracy and so it has. States all over the country (24 to be exact with more on states jumping on the bandwagon), do not have Collective Bargaining and have replaced this “bargaining” with equal opportunity resources that continue to champion the rights of our government employees while sharing concern for the taxpayers they represent. Wisconsin and Walker need to make the case to the workers and to taxpayers that we DO INDEED have in place, fail safes to prevent bad work environments and comprehensive salary/wage and benefit packages. We do have several entities that mirror each other in protecting all workers public and private. I might add in this day and age of living viral, all it takes is a push of the button, and you are YouTube’s next sensation with a legal firm and millions on the way! Liken to winning the lottery really.
In my opinion, Walker is correct to deal with this issue right off the bat. He was given a clear mandate by the majority of this state in November. We as a state need to decide do we really want to cut spending and move forward or do we want to give unions and big business more power and more influence over our tax dollars. Unions do not loose sleep at night watching states fall in to the peril of bankruptcy. Hence California!! Instead they enjoy buying into failed corporations like what we saw in the UAW vs. GM debacle. They kissed their workers goodbye and became members of GM without a blink of the eye!
Did we elect Walker to be a RINO (Republican In Name Only) or to get an ugly job done? Somebody has to get our state back on track! Do we want to leave our kids in debt or act like we are fiscally responsible? Do we want to continue living like there is money growing on an endless tree somewhere? I for one would like to see unions provide ballot voting by their union members for the union to exist. I would like to see an end to government unions financing politicians from any party, and I would like to see unions open up their books to show where all their money is spent and what they own. They need to be taxed like businesses if they want to operate like one. Their insurance and other companies need to adhere to the same laws that other businesses do. For too long we have kept the image of what unions used to be in our heads, because we don’t like what unions look like now. In order for this state and this nation to move forward we must face the demons that keep us oppressed. Government unions, not their members, have overstepped their bounds and must be treated as the money grubbing cartels that they have become, assaulting our very right to live and enjoy the same freedoms as they do.
And one last point if Walker was wrong, why is Mayor Tom Barrett suggesting the same concessions be made at the local level? Again proving Walker IS on to something here!
One little aside, AFSCME, one of the main unions outraged by the mess in Wisconsin gloats about how underpaid they are. Check out how miserably paid they really are:
Do union workers get higher wages?
Taken from the AFSCME Website!!
Yes. Workers who are union members earn 30 percent more than non-union workers. Union wages are even greater for women and people of color. Women and African Americans represented by unions earn over 33 percent more than their non-union counterparts. And Latino workers with the union advantage make over 46 percent more than those not represented by a union.