“Everything started closin’ down”

Jonathan Groves walks down West Locust Street, toward 19th, carrying a big, black garbage bag filled to the brim with clothes. Groves, who was born in Milwaukee, wears two large sweatshirts, one on top of the other, both draped over his slight frame. Hephatha Lutheran Church looms behind him.

“I grew up on the north side of Milwaukee; King Drive, 7th and King Drive,” he says. “I had some good parents and went to school — didn’t graduate. Church, you know, um. Then, as I got older, drugs, alcohol. But thank god I ain’t on that no more.”

Continue reading ““Everything started closin’ down””

“Stick with your dreams”

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.

Continue reading ““Stick with your dreams””