How many times have you heard someone offhandedly say, “Milwaukee is the most segregated city in America?” Dozens? Hundreds?
It’s an unfortunate reputation that has been reinforced, rewritten and repeated so often that it almost seems self-fulfilling as if nothing could ever change in metro Milwaukee. But there’s an important nuance those remarks often miss.
What does segregation feel like?
That question is the focus of 88Nine’s new multimedia series, Invisible Lines. In each episode, Milwaukee residents share their firsthand experiences with segregation, racism and prejudice by recalling stories from their own lives.
No narrator. No script. Just conversations between people.
The six-part series also touches on more subtle divisions fueled by colorism, biracial and queer identity, language and religion. Invisible Lines aims to build a more complete and empathetic understanding of Milwaukee’s segregation through authentic conversations between real people.
Watch all six episodes right here on May 14.
EPISODE #1 | DARREN & VEDALE
Brothers and co-founders of Jazele’s Art Studio Darren and Vedale Hill talk dress codes, “driving while Black,” and being biracial.
EPISODE #2 | AMELIA
Amelia Roberts-Washington, a student at Rufus King High School, reflects on her first racist experience and discusses whether racism will exist in the future.
EPISODE #3 | SELMA & JEANETTE
Best friends Selma and Jeanette discuss gender norms, a lack of queer spaces of color in Milwaukee, and breaking away from cultural expectations.
EPISODE #4 | LATOYA & VAUN
Community activist Vaun Mayes and LaToya analyze colorism, racial beauty standards and the importance of memorial trees in communities of color.
EPISODE #5 | DIANNÉ & LUZ
Dianné, a student at UW-Milwaukee studying medicine, opens up to her mother about her first time facing discriminatory language while her mom reflects on how language has been a barrier since moving to the United States from Puerto Rico.
EPISODE #6 | REUBEN
Milwaukee Black Historian Reuben Harpole reminisces about Milwaukee over the ages and what the city needs to thrive in the future.