Crossing the Line is a program series sponsored by the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service and Saint John’s On The Lake in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the 200 consecutive days of demonstrations for fair housing legislation in Milwaukee.
Few communities are known by their ZIP codes, but Milwaukee’s 53206 is an exception. The statistics are grim. For example, 62 percent of black men in 53206 are incarcerated, the highest percentage in the country, and 44.6 percent of individuals live below the poverty line. But there is much more to 53206 than these statistics.
Today marks the beginning of 200 Nights of Freedom, an initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee’s Open Housing Marches, which began on Aug. 28, 1967. The initiative, intended to inspire residents to work for a more racially just and equitable city, will include 200 nights of public events and other programming, kicking off with a gathering tonight at the City Hall Rotunda, 200 E. Wells St., from 5:30 – 8 p.m. Explore our series looking back at the Open Housing movement through the eyes of those who participated.
Members of the NAACP Youth Council, led by the Rev. James Groppi, marched for 200 nights beginning on Aug. 29, 1967, to support open housing legislation in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service took a look back in a series of 15 articles and videos.