Racial Violence in Milwaukee Was Decades in the Making, Residents Say

READ: systemic racism, maintained by individuals.

“That problem, some residents say, began from the time black people started migrating to Milwaukee in large numbers in the second half of the 20th century.

They settled there as the city’s manufacturing economy began to dwindle, when jobs disappeared or moved to the suburbs. Many black people found themselves trapped in substandard living conditions on the north side without stable jobs to help them reach a better life.

For a time, efforts to tear down the racially discriminatory housing barriers went unheeded, if not ignored. Vel Phillips, the first black woman elected to the City Council, saw her colleagues repeatedly vote against a fair housing ordinance she proposed in the 1960s. As the Council failed to act, riots broke out in July 1967 that led to the deployment of the National Guard. That unrest left at least three dead, 100 injured and 1,740 arrested, according to the Milwaukee County Historical Society.”

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