(NPR) – A new report from UCLA finds that K-12 schools in Wisconsin suspend black high school students at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country and has the second-highest disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city, suspends black high school students at a rate nearly double the national average.
While many Rust Belt cities — Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. — have similar histories of African-American struggles, Milwaukee has some of the same problems but not the same profile, mainly because it isn’t well known for its large black population at all. But blacks make up 40 percent of the city and, for many who grew up there (like me), none of this data is surprising. Milwaukee is a vibrant city known for its breweries and ethnic festivals and can be a great place to live — unless you’re black. Statistically, it is one of the worst places in the country for African-Americans to reside. Here’s a breakdown of how — and why — being black in Brew City carries a heavy burden.