Beginning on August 28, 1967, the Milwaukee NAACP Youth Council/Commandos, Father James Groppi, Alderperson Vel Phillips and a host of activists and community members marched for over 200 consecutive nights to demand an end to housing segregation. The marches helped inspire federal fair housing legislation.

The March On Milwaukee 50th Coordinating Committee hosted the “200 Nights of Freedom Kickoff” in the City Hall Rotunda on August 28, commemorating the anniversary of Milwaukee’s Fair Housing Marches.

This audio was recorded live at the event, and includes remarks from Prentice McKinney, a NAACP Commando during the marches, Margaret Peggy Rozga, widow of Father James E. Groppi, Adam Carr, Kantara Souffrant, Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton, and keynote speaker U.S. Representative Gwen Moore.

“In 2017 a man named Matthew Desmond from Harvard University just got a Pulitzer Prize for his book called “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City,” that talks about living conditions in the city in Milwaukee Wisconsin. His research showed 56% of all the people in the City of Milwaukee pay more than 1/3 of their income for housing, which is the very maximum anyone ought to pay in order to be comfortable. Another 31% of residents are paying 50% or more of their income on housing, much of it still substandard. And those who are on public assistance and on Social Security, many of them paying as much as 75% of their incomes on housing.” – U.S. Representative Gwen Moore