Mapping Racism and Resistance in Milwaukee County (MRR-MKE)

June 21, 2020

The Mapping Racism and Resistance project examines the critical role of racial covenants, as they worked together with other discriminatory housing practices, in restricting Black access to housing and producing racial segregation in Milwaukee County. As a Black digital humanities project, our research is also centered on uncovering the voices/narratives/actions made by Black Milwaukeeans in response to racial covenants, which W.E.B. DuBois described as “the most discouraging situation” facing Black Americans in the Jim Crow era (cited in Gonda, 2015: I). Often called ‘the Selma of the North’ for its historic struggles over open housing, Milwaukee’s long civil rights history (Jones, 2009) and its entrenched racial inequalities and deep segregation (Levine, 2020) make it a rich ground for analyzing the historical geographies of racial covenants and Black struggles for housing access.

Contact Info

About the Project


  • Project Lead

    Derek G. Handley

    Assistant Professor of English


  • Project Lead

    Anne E. Bonds

    Professor of Geography



Milwaukee, WI

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Media Attention


NEH Digital Humanities Advancement Grant; NEH Summer Stipends; UWM Center for 21st Century Studies; UWM Discovery and Innovation Grant