Crossing the Line: Milwaukee's Fair Housing Marches

Posted Oct 12, 2018

We're excited to be hosting the Wisconsin Historical Society's display commemorating the 50th anniversary of Milwaukee's fair housing marches which fought for integration and equal access to housing for black citizens. The exhibit will be here until October 30.

The marches brought the national civil rights movement to a local level when Milwaukee city residents, both white and black, banded together to protest the city's policies and practices which perpetuated segregation. The Federal Fair Housing Act passed later in 1968. 

On the last display panel, there is an image of a historical document that has an objectionable word on it. Because the Wisconsin Historical Society seeks to shed light on a dark piece of history, they left it as is as an accurate reflection of society in the time period represented. Neither the WHS nor Shorewood Public Library condone the use of this word.

Milwaukee County remains highly segregated.The final panel maps segregation historically and today. In the far southwest corner of the current map of the city, there is a grey area, surrounded by white areas, which indicates the population in that section of the county is 40-50% black. This is where the Milwaukee County House of Correction is.

It's vital to learn about our history to be reminded both of how far we have come, and how much further we have yet to go. If you enjoy the exhibit, we recommend these books:


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