Episode | #094

How Did We Get Here?

“We were making money in our neighborhood. A lot of people worked for black people -- didn't have to work for white folks -- and we had our own economic thing. When they destroyed Walnut Street they destroyed the economic thing.”

There’s a lot we know about gun violence. We know it’s concentrated in poorer areas. And we know those areas tend to be heavily black. But how did things get that way -- how did we get to the point where 84% of Milwaukee’s homicide victims are black? To start understanding some of the historical underpinnings of how we got to where we are, Precious Lives producers Aisha Turner and Emily Forman visited Monk’s Barbershop. Monk’s has been in Garden Homes since 1981. Shop owner William Campbell (aka “Monk”) started cutting hair down on the old Walnut Street back in the 1950s. Monk walks us through the physical and economic changes he’s seen in the city so we can start to understand how we got here.

William “Monk” Campbell fiddles with his phone inside his barbershop in Garden Homes.

Photo Credit:
Courtesy of the Campbell family

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