Many of us have reading blogs about  moving out or relocation. But however in the last remaining days, a blogger out of Brooklyn had to express her discontent and also her joy about her memories and decision factors of leaving Milwaukee.

Tenicka Boyd, (aka Sincerely Brooklyn), is the name. And expressing her Milwaukee Concerns of poverty and segregation is the game.

In the last couple of days and almost a week, her blog story, “Coming where I’m from” she expressed that her memories of Milwaukee began when she was younger. She grew up in the city, but didn’t consider the city her home. In her story, she comments deeply:

It is in Milwaukee though that my fondest memories were not great. Tuetonia and Locust is where I remember playing on the playground before bullets rang out. When I think of Milwaukee, I think of it as the physical place where my brothers failed to escape its destructible trajectory. It is in Milwaukee where I’ve experienced some of my scariest moments.  I remember waking up in the middle of the night to a burning house. It was in Milwaukee where several men beat me as a young woman with bats and the hardiness of the concrete. It was right there in that city, where I slugged on public transportation to get minimum wage just to buy basic necessities. When I think of Milwaukee I think of the food stamps, the hours of waiting for healthcare, the roaches on the wall, the desperate competition for school clothes, the long lines at Aldi, the boys who got shot, the men that went to prison, the girls who became mothers, the babies who were left alone.  It is there, in Milwaukee, where I learned the instant gratification of sex, drugs, and money. It is there where I learned the disillusion of basketball dreams and rapping careers.

It didn’t build my character, as people say poverty does, it built angst, dejection, and posttraumatic stress. It harbored in me, for years after going down south for college, a deep sense of inadequacy and eventually survivor’s guilt. I began to feel guilty that all of my greatest memories-falling in love, meeting lifelong friends, traveling the world, finding amazing mentors, becoming engulfed in life altering projects, getting married, graduating, starting a family-were not in Milwaukee. Even driving, learning to pay bills, becoming independent, discovering how to control my emotions, turning away from a culture of violence, and other basic life changes happened to me away from my family and surely outside of the small city I grew up in. I grew further and further away from the people whom I considered my family and visiting became much more of a chore and far less of a comfort.

Every time I returned to Milwaukee, I was forced to be 15 again. I was forced to remember people I had long forgotten about. I was forced to remember restaurants I could never afford to eat in.  I was forced to remember neighbors who had long gone to prison. I was forced to remember the playground I was beat up at, the goodwill store my mother shopped at, and the welfare line so many of us used to stand in. I was forced to have unnatural conversations with old friends I was disappointed in, who gained so much weight I barely recognized, who lived lives I was unacquainted with.  I was forced to hear old stories that were glossed up as if they were amazing ones. I was forced to remember all the people we never got to see become whole again.

I don’t necessarily agree with whole remembering all the people. Part of that in my view is all apart of your upbringing. It’s apart of recognizing the fact that the people who in later years of their dilemmas, were still part of your life when you met them. And yes it concerns places. However, in the past incidents or examples you learn from can help you to realize that your life doesn’t have be their way.

Yes I have read the blog back and forth. And yes it was her story. It was even shared on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s website this past Sunday, and yes there were about 29 comments that came in. Majority of the comments, put the blame on the environment that she grew up in, not the whole city. That environment is possibility her old neighborhood or her surroundings. However on the flip side, as a teen, she chose to leave for greener pastures. She also mentioned about the ongoing problems that Milwaukee continues to endure:

I am fully aware that what plagues my family and so many people in Milwaukee is a combination of poor public policy, mass segregation, over incarceration and an even poorer education system. I chose to move away from Milwaukee not the work. I choose to focus my energy and adult working life on public policies where zip code doesn’t dictate destiny, where parental income doesn’t so easily transfer, where schoolhouses can be an oasis of hope.

She has point on this. BUT here’s something that is left out: There is decay everywhere. There is segregation everywhere. Just last year, didn’t Chicago had like over 400 murders? And last year, Milwaukee had little over 100 homicides. Mostly under the age 30 per say. Mostly coming from those who didn’t have that upbringing of two parent households, not enough role models per say that stayed on them EVERY DAY.

Let me tell you and those who feel this way. If you had to move out of Milwaukee, or any other Mid-Sized City in which you had to do what is best for you in terms of careers or travel, all the power to you. Yeah, I had the talk about Moving out of Milwaukee years ago after I got my bachelor’s degree, and I’m still having the talk. But unlike the blogger, I feel currently that I’m not strong enough to leave the city yet. I’m 37 years old. Just like Bill Clinton once said about America. He said that “America can’t strong abroad, unless we’re strong at home.”  In other words, if you’re ready for the world, stay where you at until you become strong enough to move out. Yeah others like my age before had done it. And some in my family had left for better ways. That’s them! But I’m referencing myself because I have to think about the possibilities of family, activities, and special assistance. For example, I have an older sibling that has Multiple Sclerosis. She was diagnosed since 1995 and has to move around in a wheelchair. Plus the care for her is extremely needed  and mainly that includes ME! For activities, yes, I can do my Election Duties, but not my High School Alumni volunteer time. Plus also, yes I’m single with no kids, and not married. Now many of you are saying, “Oh, Stephen you got something here to work with to get out”. BUT ALAS! It also requires a judgment factor. This is something that most don’t realize. Now if I were to move out, it would be God’s will. Not the environment. Not the family. Not the friends. Not the Alumni. Not the concerns of crime, drugs, segregation or reliving the horrors I read in the newspaper or local media. It would be the will of God. No matter where or when to relocate, the struggle continues. And that’s the factor that doesn’t matter what it is in regarding Milwaukee or anywhere else.

Unlike the blogger: I’m Milwaukee born and raised before 2 years old. I went through the MPS schools and graduated. I got two college degrees from Milwaukee Area Technical College and UW-Stout. And yes I had and have my share of “here and there jobs”, attend church as a 4th Generation member of the United Methodist Church, active in my Alumni Groups, registering new voters and actively updating current voters,  and yes in 2010 I was discriminated in Wisconsin in trying to look for work because of me being African-American! But I didn’t leave. Like those before me, I stay in fight. Sometimes you have to stay and fight for those who can’t speak. For those who had been in battle for years and don’t have the fight no more. And for those have gone home to heaven. But for those of us who are CURRENTLY here in Milwaukee, and doing the work, we need to set NEW EXAMPLES for this city. We need to set new standards, new terms, new goals, new objectives and new opportunities to get this city going. We know the drill. Get out and vote, or make noise to get the attention of the officials, etc.  And for those who still have a heart for Milwaukee, but live in other cities, be like Eric Benet and donate a week of your time out of the calendar year and revisit. When Eric Benet comes to Milwaukee to perform, he’s not ashamed. He grew up here. Went to Tech High School, and still donates his time to give back. I’m just saying. Even if you had to move to Brooklyn.

Speaking of that: to read the rest of the Sincerely Brooklyn blog, click here.


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