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Today’s newpaper’s headline was about how downtown Milwaukee’s underused Grand Avenue Mall hopes to attract a grocery store. The new owners of the Mall reported this was the major request at a meeting with downtown residents, mostly ‘millennials’, young adults born from 1981 through 1996. I found this interesting since there is the “Public Market”, a major food destination downtown. Also I have come to understand that when the word ‘millennials’ is used to describe young adults living and working downtown it actually means white upper middle class young adults. Few, if any, low income Black and Hispanic young adults are considered ‘millennials’ and live downtown.
Downtown white ‘Millennials’ have cars to get out to grocery stores in the surrounding neighborhoods and soon will have their own trolley line to get around downtown from home to work to shop and to entertainment. Residents of North Central Milwaukee live in what is considered a ‘food desert’, a lack of major food stores and many do not have cars.
So the lesson to be learned seems to be that in Milwaukee if you are white, hungry and have money and transportation there will be many places to shop and eat. If you are black, hungry and have little money or transportation you will not have many places to shop and eat. White downtown ‘millennials’ will get their grocery store and urban blacks will not.
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