Returning to Milwaukee: My Conversations Inside the Housing Redlines
My project Returning to Milwaukee: My Conversations Inside the Housing Redlines seeks to illuminate the marginalized communities of Milwaukee’s North and South side that proudly endure today despite the economic hardships resulting from “redlining” practices that date back to the 1930’s. Through historical research, dialogue and photographic documentation I hope to share the strength and grace of residents that define these historic neighborhoods today, and spark meaningful conversations on systemic racism that will promote understanding and support in our communities.
My childhood home located in a Milwaukee suburb shaped my worldview. My parents were proud of their achievement of purchasing a home, which was a top priority for our family and those within our community. Putting food on the table, paying our bills saving for retirement, and maintaining their investment defined my parents and our family values.
As I grew older and traveled outside our area I came to realize our neighborhood was, for reasons I was yet to understand, segregated. Desiree Brow, my college roommate at Carroll College, Waukesha, WI was my first Black peer. Our friendship exposed racial biases, assumptions, and stereotypes - both my own and those existing in society. A career in the military broadened my exposure to people of all cultures and multiple lifestyles.
In (2017 to present), I returned to Milwaukee with a desire to examine the impact of racial violence and trauma, segregation, and redlining. Today I use my camera to explore the African American and Latinx community by engaging with the All People's Church, Brother Rashad Scott and the Original Black Panthers' Party of Milwaukee.
I walk the neighborhoods endlessly inspired by the residents I meet and the intimacy of a community I had not been exposed to as an adolescent. I have created this body of work to share with this and other communities in hopes of promoting understanding and support of those who have suffered oppression in any form.