Milwaukee Underground Railroad Marker Site

Let me go in on my home of Milwaukee for a bit. I have to blog about this story that is very dear and I think important to think about for the African Americans for our city. Recently this week, I was paying attention to Milwaukee Black Radio, namely WNOV about a comment of a potential (idea-wise) African Community Center. As many of us Black Milwaukeeans know it was supposed to be built near the Milwaukee County Transit System Headquarters, which is near 17th and Fond Du Lac, years back. But however it never got built. Many were and still asking why.

Just yesterday and today, I listened to WNOV’s Sherwin Hughes, with guests Mikel Holt, former Alderman Fred Gordon, and Troy Shaw,  and in a twist of that thought: It had something to do with that project and the Italian Community Center. From the commentary, one of the then-Milwaukee Alderman’s Mike D’Amato had a problem with that. In regarding that project of the African Community Center, that would give dilemmas for the Italian Community Center. Say what?!!! When you really think about that, Milwaukee has Community centers of the Irish, German, Mexican, LGBT, Spanish, Asian and Italian. But not a African Community Center, based on this absent minded thought? Really?

English: America's Black Holocaust Museum in M...

English: America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a unique museum dedicated to the history of African American enslavement in the United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For those outside of Milwaukee yes, we have the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, the Wisconsin African-American Women’s Health Center, and we used to have the Black Holocaust Museum before it was closed and sold to the City of Milwaukee.  Now, it’s virtual via the internet. Plus, African World Festival made a comeback after being held hostage with debts. But seriously, Milwaukee this makes me upset as a resident, that an absent minded Alderman like Mike D’Amato would prefer that building an African Community Center would create a problem with ICC. With all due respect, the ICC is a good building. Nothing wrong with that. I’ve been there for events and job fairs. And it’s in the Third Ward. But seriously, I think it’s time that Milwaukee, this genuine American City known for Beer and Harleys, better step up and BULID a African Community Center in tribute to Milwaukee’s Black Past, Present and hopefully a Future. Many don’t know in Milwaukee that there were times in my culture, we made history. And still making history. I’m pulling a Barack Obama when he said about building a National African-American Museum in Washington DC for future generations.

The building of the former Black Holocaust Museum

The building of the former Black Holocaust Museum

Now I know that others who are non-black and reading this blog and from the Greater Milwaukee Area are probably might come out and say, “Oh that racist! Why does he have to write that? We are all Americans. We should be equals.”  Oh Shut up! I’ve heard that so many times. I get it. Remember when I said that I’m embracing my African-American side, while expressing my slice of Americana? This is what I’m doing right now. I’m expressing my freedom of expression as an American, while honoring my African-American, or American of African decent laurels. Period. If WNOV’s “The Forum” can do it, so can I.

Furthermore, since Mike D’Amato is out of office for about 5 years, and since other community centers in Milwaukee are popping up. Black folks in Milwaukee, step that game up an d get that African Community Center started. If the Iron Horse Hotel, near the Harley-Davidson Museum was a 100+ year old warehouse, why not make notes for that? Or put it in the  Bronzeville area. Word is there are some empty buildings near MLK Drive. Put it there! I’m just saying.

Also, consider this as my Milwaukee Black History Month Future Idea that must work! I don’t care if the African World Festival, Wisconsin Black Historical Society, Wisconsin African-American Women’s Center, Milwaukee NAACP, Milwaukee Urban League, Local Black Churches, the NPHC of Milwaukee of the Black Greek organizations, or any other organization that has ties to help or wanting to help reload new ideas to help finance the Black Community, then think about this idea. This is not just a callout (which it is) try a callout with a purpose and idea.


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