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I see the government was the biggest stinker in us all thing you see because when it went even out there now this was a 1939 40. The FHA refused to let Negroes have any money. See. If this was this was in the FHA plan. No person out of a group different from the majority group could borrow money to buy land in the majority groups. Bailiwick which meant that I as a US that's reason we couldn't get FHA and so which meant it that I couldn't down money in the inner core because that was all bounce because it was partly industrial and it was his own right. You see what I mean. So it just left Negroes out period and can remember a day when my painter had been doing painting for me here and he wanted to get something finished up on Sunday. Oh this could have been too unusable and he was then the con of capital and third if you
take a bus and the policeman askin what are you doing in this neighborhood. This without any reason why you out here would you see. It was sort of insulting to the man they would have been to anyone is going to get the bus and they figured he was up to something. He wasn't in his right neighborhood he needed be down in the Corps. My son. I guess just must have been a back in fifty. Six 57 58. I don't know exactly where I was anyway. He couldn't go down the street and walk down the street. You realized the police were stopping me. Searching him. For no reason at all.
And you know I was in trouble. I was had a problem with the police. So we called the sergeant just. Like aesthetic street present. We had a long talk with him and the police that. Les Paul needs to stop that man. And. He said. You know look I you know look at that all the kids look at lag and. Sometime the police have to stop them all. When one did something in order to. Find the right one I can recall instances in which we felt that we experience my husband in our experience of police being prejudice against us.
For a white driver that that you hear of a great deal now. This was a case where the other driver ran into us and when we went down to the police department to see what had been reported he reported that we were coming out from the curb which was not the case. But that's such a minor thing and yet it does show that if two people involved one is white and one is colored that they very like to take the part of the white person was going home when the curfew was a 7 o'clock to be. It was two minutes after 7 and help me hey boy. I looked around to see if a boy was around you know and I know good well you know boy I don't post address me as that you know. So I told them as Sam and you tell them to me say yeah we don't want you know what. I said. So we'll I know never walking around and
I looked at a real big rag. So what you're going to do about it I just bit my lip and then down to ground said nothing. He said When I think you better put it on don't you. I said yeah. But that's what I got I get him and I will if I ever see him again and know what you're getting into. It's not because he was keeping us off the streets. You can determine a nice manner when Tad was you want to milk the system but all the boys and they're going to stuff like that. The neighborhood is filled with the sounds of segregation the
cries of children in the night for want of food. The wail of the sirens of the protectors of the law the smell of Tuesday's ham in Thursday's do the weeds challenging the grass to grow. The drunks stumbling down the street. The children cry louder all the while for something to eat. The rats and roaches run free. I'm molested. The wind whistling through the dark. At last the snow begins to fall covering the sounds of children in the night covering the sounds of a segregated neighborhood with something white. A poem by a 1968 graduate of Milwaukee's
north division high school. Let me say before we get too far because I think we are trying to compare a good many things today with. Back in 1993 I had some difficulty with very great difficulty in getting a job to work as a means to an end. When I went out to look for a job a person wouldn't have that difficulty today. Of course today I could come right into Milwaukee and go into the public school system as a teacher. But they didn't have a Negro teachers in the first negroes that were graduated from what they call the State Teacher's College in Milwaukee. They had a great difficulty in getting positions in the public school system. Now we have I suppose.
Probably 200 maybe you have food I don't know exactly how many good teachers we have in the public school system so things this is why I say things ever so much better. Not that it couldn't be better still. Well the scene that seems more friendly and this seems more the killer for you and what the do you thing they used to pace and acts like they didn't see you didn't prove you entertained your mother patients. Who will speak to you in the place like TCM and they actually last better than what they did years ago. Yeah I know there are lots of bigs and find where it was so but no way. And not because I did a sow in the south you have to get on the sidewalk for all you had to get away you had to give them all the saddle and you always Mr. and Mrs.. And use always yes mam and no sir. And we
never. Never speak like we would speak AP US and no. We couldn't tell you when. The history of black people I don't get that myth for example I read how black people were forced into slavery. How were brought over here and packed them bowls like sardines how we died on the way and the terrible treatment received there. I don't get mad when I read about. How all black people were messed around during slavery. Power kicked down and everything in there some more and you will treat you all the way up through the through the wars how we fought in every war and how we how we died for this country and were buried in and segregated. Cemeteries and we had to have segregated funeral pollers and all this kind of
stuff. I don't get it man. This is the thing that gets me mad is that it's 1967 and way back in 1776 the 1780 wanted these cats we're talking all this stuff a lot. All men are created equal. And if they really mean this why don't you do something about it after a Negro Problem Solver to be something else. I don't want to go probably sell but I think that. This is kind of a but mostly. You know when you go back to slavery. Prior when not prior I want to go back prior prior to 1863 when ever passed the Emancipation Proclamation. A lot of the ideas that people had about Negroes and I since we talk about racism in this country. You know really they really haven't changed that much. You have been there been advances made but when you really get down to it there are arguments that people use for being racist are the
same. They're the same as they were 50 years ago out of marble and when you come right down to the basic just the same you know it's very they want to first of all the first thing a male a lot of times always said this really used to be funny is that they want to marry a daughter they want a mama lies a race and then they go to dinner then after that and they're shiftless and no goodness that they've been talking of course they were made you know negro slaves were. They they entertained the bosses by acting this way and entertain and they think negroes always happy what hell of your earthly if you were happy then something wrong with you. That's not right you may get your you may get whipped at night for not being a happy boy when you should have been you know. And their Negroes are inferior they don't have the same mentality they don't have the same potential as whites. And the whole damn thing I hasn't changed. In 1920 Nathan published a study of the American credo
containing four hundred eighty eight statements which they found prevalent in the thinking of Americans. Among them were the male Negroes can sing. But if one hits a negro on the head with a cobblestone the cobblestone will break that all Negroes born south of the Potomac play the banjo and are excellent dancers. That only goes to show any intelligence whatever or actually two thirds white and the sons of United States senators. The Negro Problem is only open now. Whatever is going to happen one way though it's out in the open. Negroes are disadvantaged because they're black and for other reasons like Puerto Ricans and others but you know why as a white person they said that. You know and
how are you how are you going to reconcile this to a white teenager when he's a high school dropout and he you know he doesn't have he where you can't say a negro kid can say well I'm black you know so I can get a job. What's he going to say. This is to me this is our next problem how are you going to handle these kids and this is a problem that no one has ever really been able to have to work with yet because they talk to EAC you can say well the system is against you because you use a system. Where you can see the power structure against you because the power structure you know you can look in the mirror although to use your color you know you just have to tell them the facts of life from people for their children. But I don't think that's the sensible way and I mean it when they arrive and when I had all these kids and everything and we talked Negro history we talked but the problems were in a city and what they had to do and then and not accept this thing quietly I mean not just accept it but realize that you are a human being do everything any other human being and so it is and that's what
these. Now before you see the negro himself just like Mrs. halliards and many many were ministers my church I have been measured in years. There's indignation on civil rights I mean I can see a church and this is insurance which Mississippi that didn't have something to do with civil rights and so we've been brainwashed to I mean neighbors of ingrain are Scott I'm a planning will say to me if we talk they say well the last thing I wrote down every argument they have in the US a lot of white people think so. And then they're supposed to end all of argument because they think so then is right is a we've been brainwashed or you know we have I mean. And we still have a lot of brainwashed people young when there is much more progressive. And he he has. Much more education I mean let's put it down to me boys and girls most of them
right now when they say put it that way when it's in high school and they're going to college and get post-graduate weight and needs to not even to be thought that they are going to accept the same condition that they owe a negro. And he will be determined not take no for an answer. Let's say the nigger who is no more we going to be satisfied. Place in a position like American in a large metropolitan city to have they both north south east and west. The rule and powers. Have made up their mind to. Use it too. Time to put in. Operation continued the practice of containment and that their neighbor for you
this way. That if he cared to pay taxes. If. I was put in uniform. To thank for it it's kind of different. We have done for many many many years. Then when the boys come home. We demanding that they be treated the same it's no restriction. Whatsoever. If they party fine but then we believe that we should get those jobs without any. Strange attached you know all the negro wants you given the opportunity to exercise his right as an American citizen. Not. To be treated as saying like. As a slave I mean that's free. In other words we we're still slaves. That was change all. But economic
and psychological and that's it to my man it Dine sideways to change. After his anger was spent he felt a deep sorrow. He looked at his hands and spread them slowly apart looking at the Mayos with fingers and the black of his skin. Was he really such a beast. Was he really no better than the lowest animal. Was he really made to be the butt of jokes. The downtrodden race the one to be laughed at. Would he
never be a man. A human being with dignity. No no he screamed aloud God damn it. No I won't take it. I can't stand it. From the story the struggle. As it appeared in Milwaukee's project Upward Bound newspaper possibly maybe. So much of it is when I would just not take this any longer. I mean why should we. All right I'm negro myself. All right I have a gun and a guest makes me in because the skin and light of the man and sat down to see another white man down it want me to get out or may edit him and break out this one and maybe I'm going down and then like you say but then again maybe Newman just don't want to have me because I'm black but I can't go around take it out on the world.
And sort of see no sense in all of that. I mean up the Pacific about a whole day now I suppose doing sound Wagram but the whole city of Milwaukee if it would help us. But they're going just down this nest that much more so. Just a different way. Just take it as a you know you can I hope things to be better for me to. Remain on the rather afraid to ask. And I prefer to suffer for anything before I want to. But now we're already getting the big I think that. Will be good if you really give it to them. We're.
Beneath these rags and tatters is on me. Wanting desperately for identity. I've cried out in my own way. Others have pleaded for me. I've held out my hand groping for that something to carry me with the tide. There was nothing but weight nothing to take home. The frustration is like a terrible nightmare magnified ten fold. I'm sinking deeper and deeper in mud and mire. There is a way out. But I can't find it. But I must keep searching. I threw a brick. The sound of shattered glass was heard around the world. I lit a match. The flames leapt to the sky. No one heard. No one came. I must escape. Lines from the poem of a 16 year old in Milwaukee.
Black army is saying to me its great power doesn't always economical power economic power power power does not subdivided into the white power and to black power but economical power that's blended together. In other words a complete cooperation between each and everyone in each and every work. But like power in another sense means that you've got to get your own people interested first. But you've got to get your own people addressed first so they can back you and you can meet with somebody else. Who in turn can help you help you meet and face the economic structure as it is. And Wallace bleared with. A state of public against to try to destroy but bleed with and therefore have a more or less a home are harmonious
plenty. For a lot of. America you know a lot of noise a lot of noise raise a lot of ruckus. This is to me what is what black army term Black Power to me means the organization of the black people saying before this you know for colored people say they were numb with each other but you know we had no real organization until black power using several students get together they feel that they want and this is more like the organization of the people and say I feel that other people got the wrong idea because I know my voice. Many here black power you know guys you know look to me you know what about you you the black power movement. I said to a certain extent yes you know then he. Looked at me funny but I think people get the wrong idea. It is like why people have to wait power for a long time organization they know what they're going to do. They do it and they do it all together. Black power the U-19 of Colored People. Getting them together to get them all to one agreement because before then. If they say something I don't go in the
store. You'll find several people going the same story. As it is what they're trying to work up. Organization of the colored people they're not trying to say what we were all. Just cause we want to rule period. That's not ideal and I don't get the black power I mean to get together. You know power me unite. And know you to say this because to me strength. And it's about me and trying to get itself together. But if we get ourselves together I feel there will be more able to get along to white man. As a good race of people because divide is something something that this something something's of there and here you have a dividing of the people themselves. So that's where my black power to me means just to get together get the people of race to get their Some few. That might. Survive. In this generation of kids. On the 23rd. Psalm few match that.
Went to most. Of the last generation. And. For the simple reason that being deprived of. Too much. And they are. Aghast I would say. Culture. Literature. Educational systems. And. Anything that might work here. I think will last a figure is too late. So we have only one recourse now. You still. Do the only thing that. They know to do.
There is a way we we feel. If we could get started with the. Smart. Child now. And give him. I expose him to. The same thing that if we had a citizen. Isn't exposed to. We feel that. In. The next 25 years would we fear that it could bring about a great change in the thinking. And acting living conditions that the next generation. And if we could get one generation on in the right direction we feel that. The problem could be sour not would be but it could be sour.
You just don't do never overnight. Sometime and take the lead when you train and Salop is around a whole lot to do with. How he be in the later years. And. If children are brought up to understand. That. He was right you know it was rape. And equality and whatever then when they get older they will install in their children and children up to them but you just don't do it. Say I don't come up until oh man something the day that he's been the person doing all is left and then he changes over Nick I mean from doing some don't some do and some never do. The younger generation of Negroes want something I want so Marcel I want a home. I want to be respected as a man not of color. Because probably myself rather
mean is Why are brown one of you that make no difference is equal to me. Out street are nice and are going to manage. That's what I want I want the same opportunity in the alchemy that doctors have been to my boss's house several times. I valid neighborhood loud neighbors know me I walk the neighborhood they speak to me they look nice to me. The side we found funny they always say it you know that I will have one of the I was in on the car. People are bad and look at me funny if even the suburban area and they look at me they will say anything to me if they were looking at the world you know like if they catch me down here I felt like that I feel like some people have bad to everybody bad white and there were some of those who knew this some bad but after that we would come out on the stand. This excerpt from Ruth M. Laski the report in the UW m magazine
on the paint box program in Milwaukee's inner core. The day after 100 teenage hillside boys had come to the police and firemen with bottles. Many of the boys have been struck with nightsticks and arrested. Seven year old Billy. One of our most gifted and creative children was tense hostile and unproductive. The art teacher helped him make a paper house but he crumpled it up threw it on the floor and glared at her. She put an arm around him give him white paper and a black magic marker. He covered several pages with guns and bullets. And then spontaneously he got some pink paper and lettered carefully. God is love. Pride and Prejudice and American heritage
drawn from interviews with people in Milwaukee's inner core produced by Ben and Ralph Johnson readings by Karl Schmidt. With this original musical theme composed and played by Cecil Lytle. This is Kemosabe speaking. The preceding was produced at WHL the University of Wisconsin. This is the national educational radio network.
The inner core: City within a city
Part 4 of 4
Producing Organization
University of Wisconsin
WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Edited re-release of Series 68-34, concerning urban area of inner Milwaukee and its problems.
Social Issues
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-Sp.2-4 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:47
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Chicago: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 4 of 4,” 1968-09-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 26, 2024,
MLA: “The inner core: City within a city; Part 4 of 4.” 1968-09-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 26, 2024. <>.
APA: The inner core: City within a city; Part 4 of 4. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from