I wrote this blog in April of 2010, in commenting about NBA player Josh Smith. Of his statement about Milwaukee in general. This was on a previous blog of Fox 6 in Milwaukee, WI. Not controversial, but just stating a point of why Milwaukee (or Wisconsin) is behind and other cities are catching up.

Forgive me for writing this topic. I know that this might shake up some things. It has been mentioned too many times in the city of Milwaukee: is there something to do for black people? I hate to ask this, but it has to be questioned. For those that have been left in the dark, this was recently commented by Atlanta Hawks basketball player, Josh Smith. He was asked about the question about Milwaukee in general. He commented that: “There ain’t nothing to do in Milwaukee,man. Everybody knows that. Even they know that”. And this was during the seven game series between the Milwaukee Bucks and Atlanta Hawks. – which by the way the Hawks won and then got swept by the Orlando Magic. And I was cheering for the ATL to lose anyway. Now I for one feel, that there is something that the African-Americans in the 414 can do in the city. But the question really has to be challenged. And for the record, when I watch sports between Milwaukee/Atlanta, I watch the teams competing, not the same everyday issues.

I was reading the Milwaukee Community Journal last week, a black newspaper, and Mikel Kwaku Osei Holt, commented the problems and somewhat things that seem to bother the black side of the brew city. Ranging from the high unemployment rate among black men, teen pregnancy, and prisons-you may have heard some comments like “Wisconsin is the worst place for black people”. I’m not kidding here. He really touched some bases on this, and the “Milwaukee is soooooooo boring” comments. Also, his commenting included concerts. Why do most concerts (ala Jay-Z) go to the other markets, except the Milwaukee Market? I’m trying to find that out myself. For fashion: like transportation, the brew city is behind on that.

From what I have read, I think this is from the entertainment aspect. In terms of nightclubs and other black related gatherings. Another question has been asked too many times: Where do the black professionals go? I’m suprised that Milwaukee currently doesn’t have a black owned movie theater to call home. It probably did years before I was born. On the positive, he mentioned the museums, Jazz in the Park, and Summerfest (speaking of which, Public Enemy will be here on June 25). The Milwaukee County Zoo and the Lakefront itself. Nothing wrong with those. I have been to all those places and it’s a way for me to just go out and chill.

For Atlanta: I have nothing against Atlanta. Period. Never have been there. I have relatives and some close friends living there, and based on my understanding, they have more black folks working in office buildings and businesses than up here. That’s a fact. Not an opinion. Mikel Holt also commented that if Marvin Pratt would have been elected mayor 6 years ago, the Brew City would have been another version of Altanta. Or as he puts it “Atlanta North”. If I were to visit Atlanta, and see all this cultural things and black owned executives companies that they talk about, I might be impressed by it. Not just stopping by the house where MLK grew up, the Georgia Dome, or the CNN Center. And if I were asked where I was visiting from, I probably would say the Midwest, but to be real, I’ll say “Milwaukee, Wisconsin.” without any hesitation, or fear. Despite of what or how they feel about the city.

For Milwaukee: It’s a cool city in all and I feel blessed to stay in the Midwest. As for the problems of being behind, it’s time to catch up. I often say that Wisconsin or Milwaukee are at the “Tail-End of things”. Simply because of being behind. When you look at other cities like Chicago, Atlanta, NY, or any other city is on the move, you kind of ask yourself, “How do they do that?” This is at a point where you or someone like me, has to get out and take notes. That’s right I said it. Get out and take notes. And have some pride.  Usually for me, I don’t really think about subjects like this more often because, I’m working 30 hours per week monday through friday, and helping out the city for voting days. Plus getting involved in Alumni functions for my college, high school, and university organizations. And I know someone who probably thinks about this, would interject and say “So What. Are there any other better stories than these two cities? The troops are dying in Iraq/Afghanistan, unemployment is rising, education is in need of fixing, and foreclosures on houses are up. This story would not make the 11:00 news.” Just others opinion. Maybe.

For the black community: Hear me out when I say this: I think it’s time to stop complaining about what other cities are doing, and ask ourselves what can we do to turn this around in our city? What needs to be done to have the Blackside of Milwaukee to resurrect? Like Mikel Holt, I’m not trying to disrespect Milwaukee. Don’t get me wrong, I think it has potential to get some ideas in motion. But the work has still yet to be finished.

This is my take. Right or wrong. Just my thought.


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