The Long March to Freedom
NNS publishes book examining the legacy of Milwaukee's open housing marches.
The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service has published a book commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Milwaukee open housing marches. Under the guidance of adviser Rev. James Groppi, a group of African-American teenagers belonging to the NAACP marched night after night, often under the threat of physical danger, to advocate for open housing legislation in Milwaukee. They marched for 200 straight days.
The marches, which started in August 1967, contributed to the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. Their legacy can still be felt today as Milwaukee continues to grapple with the issues of race and poverty. Many of those that participated are still closely linked to the issue, while others, like Deborah Tatum, have passed it on to their children. Tatum’s daughter Chantia Lewis was recently elected to the Common Council.
The book was published in partnership with Marquette University‘s Center for Urban Research, Teaching and Outreach and the Office of Community Engagement.
Want a copy of the book? Those that contribute $60 or more to NNS through Wednesday will get a copy of the 32-page compilation of the stories. The book, “The Long March to Freedom,” is beautifully illustrated by local artist Gabriela Riveros and includes in-depth articles by NNS staff reporters as well as pieces in which nine Youth Council members share their personal memories of the 200 days of marches.
NNS intends to distribute 7,000 copies of the book to community organizations, youth organizations, schools and local libraries.