“Community should be applauded for showing what true “culture” is all about “
Two observations about our community in the wake of a series of racially charged incidents that took place at the Wisconsin State Fair last week Thursday reportedly instigated by a small group of Black youth towards both Black and White fairgoers.
First, Southside Ald. Bob Donovan is the last person to talk about the problems of Black Milwaukee given his past verbose comments about our community that often bordered on being racist.
One day after the State Fair disturbance, Donovan took advantage of the situation with a press statement he co-authored with another Southside alderman, Joe Dudzik, blasting our community for its “deteriorating African American culture” and listed all our “problems.”
This latest rant by Donovan is more evidence of his “talent” for taking advantage of a situation for his own benefit at the expense of our community because a few Black Milwaukeeans acted out negatively at an event the draws the majority of the non-minority mainstream populace.
The second observation is how our community came together in love, unity and fellowship last Saturday at the Maier Festival grounds on the lakefront for African World Festival and totally refuted by their actions Aldermen Donovan’s and Dudzik’s claim of a deteriorating Black culture.
If both gentlemen had come to our community’s festival, they would have seen what real African American and African culture looked and sounded like.
They would have seen Black people embracing each other, laughing and enjoying each other’s company, as well as a multitude of activities, entertainment and food that is distinctly and unapologetically BLACK and African.
Both aldermen would have seen a community that is unbowed by the burden of its “problems,” a burden we take on with a ferocity that only makes us stronger and more determined to overcome.
If both aldermen had left our community’s celebration and traveled a few blocks west of the festival grounds to the Italian Conference Center, they would have witnessed the best and the brightest of us as a people during the Community Journal’s 35th anniversary gala.
The newspaper and the community honored past and present pioneers, trailblazers, heroes, and sheroes of varying occupations and backgrounds, whose intellect, strength of character, commitment, sacrifices, skills and spirit have made—and continue to make—our “African American culture” great and enduring.
What happened last week Thursday was not a true representation of Black Milwaukeeans or “African American culture.”
As Judge Derek Mosley said in his acceptance speech during the MCJ anniversary gala, only four percent of our people are engaged in negative behavior, the remaining 96% are law abiding citizens working, raising families and trying hard to build a better community.
What happened this past Saturday at African World Festival and the MCJ gala was our culture showcasing its glory and promise. It is from this positive sowing (which happens every day and goes virtually unnoticed by the mainstream media) that we will reap a bountiful—and great—harvest.