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Thu, Oct 19


UWMilwaukee - Golda Meir Library

“Out of Sight: The Black Middle Class in Milwaukee

A discussion on the Broad Contributions of Milwaukee's Black Middle Class. Thursday October 19, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in-person at the UW Milwaukee Golda Meir Library 4th Floor Conference Center or virtually via Zoom!

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“Out of Sight: The Black Middle Class in Milwaukee
“Out of Sight: The Black Middle Class in Milwaukee

Time & Location

Oct 19, 2023, 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM

UWMilwaukee - Golda Meir Library, 2311 E Hartford Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211, USA

About the Event

“Out of Sight: The Black Middle Class in Milwaukee” 

Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture 2023 Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture 

Date: Thurs., Oct. 19, 2023

Time: 4pm

Location: UW Milwaukee

The 54th Annual Morris Fromkin Memorial Lecture “Out of Sight: The Black Middle Class in Milwaukee” will be presented by Ermitte Saint Jacques (Assistant Professor, UWM Department of African and African Diaspora Studies) and Robert Smith (Harry G. John Professor, Marquette University Department of History). The lecture will be held October 19, 2023 at 4:00 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Center at the Golda Meir Library on UWM’s campus and virtually via Zoom.

About the research:

Through an exploration of the middleclass African American experience in Milwaukee, this collaborative project challenges and complicates existing narratives about Black Milwaukee that are mired in narrow assertions primarily focused on poverty, residential segregation, criminalization, and educational achievement gaps. While scholars have exposed these realities and their negative impacts, these are not the only stories to tell about the African American experience in the Milwaukee metropolitan area. Research also confirms that Milwaukee’s Black residents have lived experiences that are marked by successes in careers in academia, business, entrepreneurship, law, and other professions, demanding that we also attend to those middleclass experiences often left out of current academic and socio-political discourses.

Adding the lived experiences of middleclass African Americans to the Black narrative of Milwaukee elicits considerations and questions about “class” across Black Milwaukee, exposing complicated ideas and differing opinions that have engendered a class paradox for middleclass African Americans in the city. Our research considers the social implications of these conflicting and ambiguous interpretations of class through an analysis of in-depth interviews with middleclass African Americans in Milwaukee and a critical reading of the archives, which provides the historical context for understanding debates about middleclass status. Turning the lens to the middle class broadens the representation of African Americans in Milwaukee.

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