All posts filed under: Southgate

“It’s a whole lot different now”

Brian crouches in his yard, gloves on, peering through his glasses at the undesirables inhabiting the small strip of dirt that surrounds his house in Southgate; a basket of already liberated weeds and brush sit next to him on the ground. As of this mid-Spring day, no flowers have bloomed yet. Brian has lived in the Milwaukee area for almost 40 years, but he was born and grew up in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin. “Good place, like any small town, to raise a family,” he says. “But, uh … I’m glad I don’t live there anymore because there’s a lot of — at least when I grew up — there was a lot of prejudiced people.”

“When you live in a big family…”

Monica, who grew up in Wauwatosa, comes from a large, Catholic family – she’s one of eight children. So, when it came time for college, money was thin. “My parents encouraged, of course, going to school but they had no money – I had to work hard to pay for my college and then take the year off and then work more and then go back to school.”

“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.”