Editor’s note: Got something on your mind? “Community Voices” is the place to let Milwaukee hear what you have to say. To be considered, we need your name, email address and phone number for verification. Please email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct where Michael Schultz went to school.
As Black History Month comes to a close, three Milwaukee leaders list people and places they feel every resident should know.
Donte McFadden, co-founder Black Lens film series:
A person that all Milwaukeeans should know is Michael Schultz. While some people are familiar with him and his films (“Cooley High,” “Car Wash,” “Which Way Is Up?” “Krush Groove”), few know that he is a Milwaukee native and attended University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He is important to know because he is an example of the talent that emerges from Milwaukee and an example of someone who goes on to a successful career in the entertainment industry. Similar people include writer/director Eric Haywood, director Rubin Whitmore II, editor Terilyn Shropshire and writer Michael Starrburry.
Supreme Moore Omokunde, 10th District Milwaukee County supervisor:
Baba Reuben Harpole, who grew up in Bronzeville, is an important man to know when it comes to the history of black Milwaukee. He is a walking encyclopedia of “who is who” and “what is what” and has worked with many of our local historic black publications.
Every Milwaukeean should read Dr. James Cameron’s “A Time of Terror.” In this book, he discusses his escape from a lynch mob after he and his friends were falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. This took place in Marion, Indiana, which notably, is not the South.
St. Boniface and its role in the activities of the Open Housing Marches is critical local history. It was here where Father James Groppi served and led. Milwaukee’s marches directly informed the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that was signed into federal law after the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Marjorie Rucker, executive director of The Business Council:
A critical staple that all Milwaukeeans should know is Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage. For almost 40 years, this African American-owned business has produced headcheese, also known as souse, sultz or hog’s head cheese. Operating out of a 12,000 square foot facility at 300 W. Walnut St. in the Historic King Drive BID, their recipe is a true Southern delicacy.
What makes this business and story exceptional is that Glorious and George Malone are one of the few black Milwaukee families that strived not only to provide for their family, but thrived in creating generational wealth and a legacy that will last. Glorious Malone wasn’t raised with a silver spoon in her mouth — she was born and raised in Hammond, Louisiana as part of a large family. In her teens, Glorious moved to Milwaukee to be with her father, Sterling Williams, who was one of the city’s first black barbers.
All of the Malone children have worked in the sausage business and continue to make strategic investments of time, money and property acquisition locally, not just for profit, but for the betterment of the community. I have watched Daphne Jones and her family move throughout Milwaukee, pursuing their dreams and passions in a way that make good “soul” and business sense. They are always kind, engaging and present when you meet or run into one of them of the street.
Throughout my years of working in community and economic development in the city of Milwaukee, I can say that this is the type of knowledge that black people should know, teach and practice within their families and within our community. You do not necessarily need a college degree to be a successful entrepreneur, but you do need to learn a set of business skills and develop grit that would impress Jeff Bezos.