People, Southgate

“People are people”

James Harris came to Milwaukee around 2002 because his mother was struggling with cancer. “She’d gotten sick so I came to help her out and I wound up staying,” he said.

Harris grew up on the south side of Chicago but, when his mother’s health declined, it was more important to him to be here with her.  “She liked it, found a job, brought my little sister up here, everything was good,” he explains. Then, in 2004, Harris’ mother died.

What does Harris think of Milwaukee, these days? “It’s violent, man – there’s a little too much drama for me.”

But he also says that Milwaukee isn’t that different than Chicago, either. “It’s pretty much the same,” said Harris, “everybody’s separated, nobody likes each other, there’s just a bunch of hatred out here.”

Why do people stay hateful? “I think it’s fear,” he said. Fear of what, though, he isn’t sure. “I don’t know, man, I couldn’t even tell you,” says Harris. “I don’t understand.”⬩

Did you find value in this story? If so, please subscribe to our weekly email.

Milwaukee Stories is a nonprofit organization that brings you the real stories of regular people. This work is supported by small, individual monthly contributions from people just like you; we need your help.