The yearly festival, which celebrates the freeing of the last slaves, attracts thousands with quality local music, food and business.
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.”