Mohamud Suleiman, who has braved the waves of inopportunity and is taking on the responsibilities of fatherhood, still believes his time will come.
While Matt Pizur’s early life was defined by a rocky relationship with his father, he’s been able to carve out his own sense of happiness.
Rochelle Wells walks toward Atkinson Avenue on N. 12th St. in Arlington Heights on a cold, dark winter afternoon. She’s with a friend but pauses for a moment. “I was born and raised in Milwaukee,” she says. “Here in the inner city — Milwaukee, Wisconsin.”
Kevin Carlton stands just outside a cluttered garage south of National Avenue in an alley off of 47th Street. Carlton, who displays tattoos from under a cut-off white shirt, has only been in Milwaukee for two years, but it’s been a long road here. “I grew up in a rough family; my dad died when I was 2 — he got hit by a drunk driver on the freeway and mom raised five of us,” he says. “I was the youngest one out of the clan, so, I really didn’t have a chance to miss him. But, you know, earthquakes and the beaches — I love the beaches; that’s all I miss. California is full of people, too crowded.”
Lydia Centeno stands in the front yard of her childhood home on the 400 block of West Mineral Street in Walker’s Point. Centeno has lived and worked in the neighborhood, which she describes as “family,” for most of her life. “[There are] a lot of families here. Some families are still living here, some are moved out,” says Lydia, 58. “And, right now, there’s a lot of businesses that are going up on 2nd Street. So, a lot of people are moving this way.”
Earlene Green stands on the northwest corner of 14th and Burleigh in Borchert Field, dressed to the nines after attending a funeral. The 66-year-old Green is hesitant at first but it doesn’t take much before she begins to recall her childhood. “We were getting integrated at that time,” says Green. “It was different … it was very different.”
Richard Hodge stands on the corner of 24th and Burleigh, outside COA’s Goldin Center campus, on a sunny Friday afternoon. The bright greenish-yellow of his crossing guard uniform immediately catches the eye, a necessary characteristic in this line of work. He fist-bumps children on their way by, creating a sense of safety that extends past the uniform. For Hodge, this isn’t just another job. “The most important thing is the safety of the kids,” he says.