Violet Young walks briskly down North Richards Street dressed almost entirely in purple, a plastic bag in each hand. Exuberant and cheerful, even the below-freezing temperatures can’t dampen her spirits. “You should see what it looks like in summer,” she says, gesturing to a nearby corner park with fruit trees and a small shelter. “It’s beautiful.”
Chris Sims sits on a set of porch stairs near 38th and Auer in Sherman Park. Sims, who sports purple and black to match his flat-brimmed Baltimore Ravens hat, wears the words “Loyalty” and “Respect” on his forearms. “I don’t know what I really wanna do,” he says. “I guess I’m just gonna have to go explorin’ somewhere. I can’t stand still — gotta move around and get what you want.”
Ken Brown II grew up the oldest of four on Milwaukee’s north side. The 32-year-old who attended Washington and Milwaukee High School of the Arts was brought up in a house that emphasized heritage. “I was involved with a lot of drumming, a lot of African culture,” he said. Brown, who’s been drumming since he was 4, said they always used to play at Milwaukee festivals like Juneteenth Day and African World Fest.