First for those of us in Milwaukee: We have bad news that African World Festival will not happen this year. It’s been shock that most of us in the black community have been asking why this time? Just yesterday, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist James Causey broke the news as we were getting through the Friday Workday. Even one of our news media in TV has also shared the news. From the excepts of the story:
Two weeks ago a report came out saying that Milwaukee’s ethnic festivals combined generated an estimated economic impact of more than $68 million.
On Friday, the Board of Directors of Afro World Enterprises, announced that it has decided to forgo the 2014 African World Festival.
To ensure the continued quality of programming, we are taking this year to streamline operations, bolster sponsor opportunities and expand event offerings,” President Mark Wade said.
A two-paragraph press release also said that planning for the 2015 festival is underway and the group is excited about the development process.
Also the corporation, Afro World Enterprises expressed it’s statement in regarding African World Festival 2015:
Planning for the 2015 festival is underway and the group is excited about the development process. The organization, which also has programs that address civic engagement, access to higher education, health & wellness, operates year-round.
For those who want to know, what do they mean by streamline? Streamline what? Well the definition of streamline, in a transitive verb sense from Webster’s Dictionary, it means: to make (something) simpler, more effective, or more productive.
So in this essence, African World Festival wants to be more simplified, effective or productive in terms of their business ideas and objectives. Which is not a bad thing. All businesses, organizations, groups make streamline business plans. Now the flip side of this, I know Milwaukee is known as the “City of Festivals” but how does that equate? ow does the other festivals get crazy paid per say and African World Festival gets chewed out?
Others may have indicated that it’s another massive case of the on-going segregation in the Milwaukee Area. We know it’s true. But the fact of the matter is, those of us who are African-American and living in the “Greater Milwaukee Area” these are my questions:
- Where are we in the Greater Milwaukee Area in terms of the board of directors of asking questions?
- Where are we in investing in the festival for additional fundraisers?
- Where are we in black businesses in terms to provide additional support? And I don’t mean the well known folks!
- Where are WE in the “GREATER AFRICAN AMERICAN MILWAUKEE AREA” (yeah you heard me right) in terms of stakeholders, investors, etc? Are we still living in the game? Um hello?
I really have to ask this, and I know that many don’t really want to hear it. But technically to us in the Black Community, African World Festival is like our meeting place for us to have. Many of us were born into it or volunteered our time in the past. BUT NOW: Since there will be no African World Festival for this year of 2014, but it will make a comeback yet again in 2015, what’s next? Even in this hyper segregated city!
Now to switch gears: Brown vs. Board of Education hits 60 years old this month. And yet there is still work to be done. Matter of fact, there is whole lot to be done. Remember when the FLOTUS was offered to speak at a High School in Topeka Kansas, and well, she got received a whole lotta “No she can’t speak because she doesn’t know our kids.” Or “it shouldn’t be about race” or many other false commentary coming from the “parents” of the Topeka residents and I dare some of the “students. Well apparently overall, the FLOTUS did speak at a special event in regarding the landmark event:
What was that reason again for Michelle Obama to speak in Kansas, where the Brown vs Board ruling began? Explain that.
What was that reason again, haters?!
So technically the FLOTUS was addressing the class of 2014’s Senior Appreciation Day in regarding her upbringing about her mother encountering segregated times in Chicago. President Obama’s family especially his grandparents who are products of the state of Kansas, even other past and present accomplishments. So I ask again, where is the hate, haters?! And I think the valid points of the FLOTUS was valid.
Like I said, the schools today have a LONG way to go. Even if you’re from Milwaukee. Now why Milwaukee again? We all know that the city is one of the most segregated. There are other hints that this era of technical advances of social media, surfboards and holograms of deceased performers, and the phrases of negropeans popping up, there was an article hinting in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about a “New Jim Crow”. Rev Al Sharpton even talked about going against Jim Crow in terms “Jim Crow, Esq.” in a suit and tie for today’s standards. Today’s standards of Voter ID Restrictions against minorities and the poor, Healthcare needs, Jobs, transportation, and many others INCLUDING Education! Where to send your kids to school in all.
Most of the cities in America held parades or marches to not only mark the occasion, but also to keep a reminder that America’s schools STILL have a long way to go. My home city as many knows is the most segregated. And many are now calling it a “poster child” for this new era of Jim Crow. Even though that we’re still in the age of Obama, stuff like this has not gone away. Now there are those who might say:
Oh they should get over it.
There is no real racism.
Why you’re still talking about it?
We don’t want to be put in a classroom full of blacks or gays.
Or THE common phrase: “I’m not a racist.”
Or another common phrase: “I have a lot a black friends….”
Stop it with the mess people. Don’t lie. Even the now up and coming parents should know better. Keep in mind for those who say, we need to teach our children more, is this teaching? I do digress that there are those who teach those to hate. And that is still being taught and supported for those who might be in office or represent a particular political party. (i.e. Majority Republicans, Conservatives) I’m just keeping it real here. It’s like a reverse cycle in a twist to keep certain things the same and not change. For the next 60 years, will Brown vs. Board will be the real hype of what it should be without all this? I mean it is for those who want to be educated without hate. It’s a long hard process to task, but who’s up to take the plate?