Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Milwaukee Civil Rights History Brought to Life on Thursday, May 14th

Up until now, much of the focus on documenting Civil Rights history has focused on the South, with Milwaukee being ignored until the riots of 1967 and the march along the 16th Street viaduct later that year.

Patrick D. Jones, Assistant Professor of History and Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska, will be speaking on Thursday, May 14th, at 7 PM. In Jones's new book, Selma of the North, he traces developments back almost a decade earlier, looking at Milwaukee's unique circumstances that led to a white Catholic priest (no several, Father Groppi was just the most notable) working with African Americans to desegrate schools, joing the Eagles Club, and have equal access to housing.

Joining him will be Margaret Rozga, Professor of English at University of Wisconsin Waukesha, who is also Father Groppi's widow. Rozga recounts the era in her new book of poems, 200 Nights and One Day, distilling the turbulence of the sixties and the activism of the times in 70 pages of verse that chronicle the open housing movement in Milwaukee.

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