Mariah Spencer dreams of becoming a film director — a goal she is determined to achieve — but that doesn’t keep her from sacrificing time to care for her mother, a disabled military veteran.
Willie Louis Speed Jr. walks down a quiet street in the Martin Drive neighborhood, tucked away just south of West Vliet Street. Speed’s life, up until now, has been anything but that. “I was born in Tunica, Mississippi,” he says. “I’m actually from Chicago. I came up here.”
David Ramage sits at a bus stop on the east side of North Port Washington Road in Gover Heights. Ramage, whose long, white beard and hair tangle in his hat and coat, is a registered sex offender. Ramage was born down South but came to Milwaukee in 2000. “It’s … like they say: come on vacation, leave on probation,” he says. “I’ve just lost ten and a half years of my life in prison.”
Eric Jefferson walks down a lonely stretch of North Richards Street, just south of Capitol Drive, in Williamsburg Heights. The ends of his untucked, short-sleeved collared button-up flutter in the wind on a warm September day. “My mother … she moved here, I was probably one or two when she moved here because her father, my grandfather, lived here and he was a minister,” says Jefferson. “She moved here to get better jobs.”