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Wisconsin Watch partners with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. Read our methodology to learn how we check claims.


State-planned attempts at urban renewal contributed to the destruction of Bronzeville, a historically African-American community in Milwaukee.

In the mid-20th century, the City of Milwaukee demolished more than 8,000 homes in the neighborhood to make way for redevelopment and the construction of the North-South (Interstate 43) and Park East freeways in the area. These actions resulted in the displacement of large numbers of residents to other parts of Milwaukee. 

African-American residents of Bronzeville also experienced segregation and marginalization, which some historians have claimed were causes of the Milwaukee civil disorder of 1967 that damaged the neighborhood physically and socially. 

Government officials have since criticized the acts of urban renewal, with former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist in 1998 calling them “urban destruction.” In the 21st century, there have been attempts to revitalize the area in terms of its businesses and culture.

This Fact Brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.


City of Milwaukee History

Encyclopedia of Milwaukee Bronzeville

Encyclopedia of Milwaukee Civil disorder of 1967

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Jacob Alabab-Moser joined as Wisconsin Watch’s fact checker in September 2022, as part of the effort by The Gigafact Project in partnership with different state-level news outlets to combat misinformation in the 2022 midterm elections. Jacob has several years of experience as a fact checker and research assistant at a variety of organizations, including at The Gigafact Project. He holds a BA from Brown University and is pursuing a MSc from the London School of Economics and Political Science.