Nathaniel Wright leans against a white railing while speaking with family on an Autumn afternoon. Wright wasn’t born in Milwaukee but many of its neighborhoods, like the one he’s standing in, are familiar. Violence, he says, is what links Milwaukee with his birthplace of St. Louis, Missouri. “You tend to follow in the footsteps of the older ones in the neighborhood, and it’s just recycled on down,” says Wright. “You know, some is lucky to get out, some ain’t.” Nathaniel comes from a large family — 13 children, in all. He’s the second youngest. “Just imagine 13 of your siblings all in the same house and you all want something different,” he says. But, from all accounts, his family was a good one. Wright refers to his mom and dad as “workin’ people.” His mother was a registered nurse at the John L. Doyne Hospital, formerly Milwaukee County Hospital; his father got a job at A.O. Smith — where he worked until he retired — after the family moved to Milwaukee when Nathaniel was 9. …
This story is part of a series focusing on the 30th Street Industrial & Economic Corridor. Robert Stewart stands outside his garage on a dead-end street in Franklin Heights. Steward says he ended up in Milwaukee because of family and the chance to get a good job. “I kind of followed my mother here – she lived up here; I was livin’ in Missouri. [The city] seemed like it had good opportunities back then.”
Tuesday, a crowd of about 100 people gathered at Red Arrow Park downtown to remember Dontre Hamilton, the 31-year-old man who was shot 14 times by a Milwaukee police officer in April. Hamilton’s family was also in attendance. The rally, held on the five-month anniversary of Hamilton’s death, was organized as a remembrance as well as a call-to-action for city and state officials, who have failed to make a charging decision regarding the case or to release a report by the Wisconsin Division of Criminal Investigation, which was completed more than a month ago, while awaiting the results of another, independent, investigation.
Marilyn Radke sweeps already-cut grass into piles that litter the street in front of the place she’s called home for more than 50 years. But she didn’t grow up in Graceland. “No, no, this was probably all farmland,” says Radke. She spent most of her childhood, until she was 15, in a small flat near 27th & Lisbon.