Anthony Olden has never settled down in one place, but that doesn’t mean he’s unsure of where he’s going.
As a youngster, Jimmy Johnson made some bad decisions. Now, he’s forging forward, determined to make a better life for himself.
Chris Sims sits on a set of porch stairs near 38th and Auer in Sherman Park. Sims, who sports purple and black to match his flat-brimmed Baltimore Ravens hat, wears the words “Loyalty” and “Respect” on his forearms. “I don’t know what I really wanna do,” he says. “I guess I’m just gonna have to go explorin’ somewhere. I can’t stand still — gotta move around and get what you want.”
Timothy Seeger greets “Mo,” a Muslim employee at Capitol Smoke Shop, 6924 W. Capitol Dr., with the customary greetings of “Allahu Akbar” (“God is greater”) and “As-salamu alaykum” (“peace be upon you”). Seeger, who’s there for two packs of Pyramid Blue King cigarettes, which he refers to as “modern-day peace pipes,” pays the bill of $11.50 in dollar bills and pennies. “When you think about it, there’s no fighting and no arguing when people are smoking cigarettes, for the most part,” says Seeger, who only began the habit three years ago, at 58. “They’re calm, relaxed; It’s like weed … but this is legal.”
Farence Rogers walks down Historic Mitchell Street on his way back home from El Rey Foods. Rogers has lived in Milwaukee almost all his life but he hasn’t just stuck to one part of the city – he’s lived on the north, west and south sides. “This city is not that big so why limit yourself?” says Rogers. “You’ve gotta be able to mingle with everybody.”
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.