New York Times article prompts dialogue about segregation in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- African-Americans who can afford to live anywhere but choose to put down roots in poorer parts of the city led a sold-out discussion in Milwaukee on Monday night, September 12th. They are trying to trying to tear down walls in the city -- a city which has been labeled one of the most segregated in the nation.

Thelma Sias chooses to live on N. 17th St. in Milwaukee. It's a decision that often gets this reaction.

"I didn't know that you live there," Sias said.

talk4The reason that many affluent African-Americans are choosing to live in poorer parts of the city over the suburbs was the subject of a sold-out discussion at The Big Easy on Dr. Martin Luther King Dr. on Monday evening.

"Is part of it self-segregation? Probably. But is that because that's where you feel safe because that's because of how you've been welcomed?" asked Latisha Brookens.

It is a topic that recently made the front page of the New York Times and prompted this question: Do you prefer to live among people who look like you or among those who make a similar amount of money?

"Why can't we have both?" Brookens asked.


Brookens said she enjoyed living in Whitefish Bay, yet her husband was pulled over five times in front of his own home.

Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs

Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs

"I think we need to look beyond both ethnicity and class and look more at each other as human," said Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs.

Some on the panel are staying in Milwaukee to improve it.

Maanaa Sabir opened a business in an area he said was once a ghost town.

"We wanted to make a large footprint where our people were," Sabir said. "What we had in that community was our life."

The hope is someday Milwaukee will be more diverse throughout.

Monday's discussion was the first of several panels that will be held on this issue.


  • Sheila Moyet

    Where exactly is this segregation? There is no area in Milwaukee where you do not see blacks. There are even blacks in the surrounding areas. I shop in New Berlin and there are plenty of blacks there also. It strikes me odd that out of all the races blacks are the only ones constantly complaining about segregation and being oppressed.

    • Gary D. Hamilton

      I totally agree with you. And because the city has become so integrated the crime rate has gone thru the roof. The home values have sunken, car jacking and other violent crimes have also become the norm.

  • Frank B

    Anybody can live anywhere that they want to. When all of the variety of ethnic groups migrated to this city and every city they tended to want to congregate together and eventually they moved to other areas. Nothing stopped them from moving back then and nothing is stopping anybody from moving to any part of the city or region now via owning or renting. There are more apartment complexes in this city than ever before. It’s up to people to decide where they want to live and for many they look at many factors including crime statistics when they decide on where they want to live.

    • Chattipatti

      I will live where I want, and I want to live where my grandkids can play outside with out getting shot. I just wish the black community would take responsibility for themselves. As a Black women, as an Proud American Women, I worked and got out of Milwaukee, I still go to do some volunteer work but choose to live outside of Milwaukee. These groups need to stop blaming and start fixing.

  • Norell

    Birds of a feather flock together. It’s always been that way. This is about jobs, and the Feds and safe cities not enforcing the laws. Japan has it right, Japan first. We have to stop illegals and the Muslim invasion of our country.


    I moved to a nice neighborhood in Franklin years ago. The neighbors gave us the “there goes the neighborhood” look everyday or wonder how a “black guy” could afford to live in their neighborhood and drive nice cars and all (drug dealer?!? lol) This went on for about a year until I was forced to bring my company vehicle home from work everyday for a period of a couple of months. Suddenly, the stairs changed to “Hello Neighbor!” My son started to have his friends come over and they even ask me to become a member of the board of the neighborhood association. My point is we need to stop using the TV to base or judgments of entire races of people and treat each person on a individual bases.

  • unicorns and rainbows

    Hmm, one liberal “news” organization (Faux 6) referencing one of the most liberal “news” sources (NYT). What a shocker!

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