Segregation: Milwaukee’s tale of two cities

By Sachelle Saunders of CBS 58 – WDJT Milwaukee

“Milwaukee on a whole range of indicators looks like one of the worst places in the country.”

For Milwaukee, it’s a tale of black and white, a city so marred by segregation; it affects every part of life

“You’ve got 40% of the population is poor, you’ve got very high rates of joblessness, in some of those neighborhoods well over 50%, of the working age population not working and on top of that you have the high concentration of high segregation.” University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Professor and Director for UWM’s Center for Economic Development Marc Levine said.

Levine has studied the problem for decades. His work recently received national attention. Levine’s studies found that 70% of black kids in the city attend hyper-segregated schools, worse than cities in the deep south. Black families make 56% less than whites in the area, and even black families who are affluent still live in poverty stricken neighborhoods at higher rates, something that is not seen anywhere else in the country.

“Be it employment, be it poverty, be it income, be it access to housing, be it the criminal justice system. We have deeply entrenched racial disparities that we’ve only made minimal progress on alleviating over the last 20-30 years,” Levine said.