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Stories about kids, guns and how to stop the violence. Precious Lives, created by 371 Productions, is a 2-year, 100-part weekly radio series about gun violence and young people in the Milwaukee area. The series applies a public health lens to each story to help listeners understand the full scope of the problem: who are the victims and the shooters; how are the weapons obtained; and what can we change about the environment that contributes to violence in Milwaukee?

#094 Precious Lives: How Did We Get Here?

Courtesy of the Campbell Family
William Campbell fiddles with his phone inside his barbershop in Garden Homes.

There’s a lot we know about gun violence. We know it’s concentrated in poorer areas. And we know those areas tend to be heavily black. But how did things get that way -- how did we get to the point where 84% of Milwaukee’s homicide victims are black?

To start understanding some of the historical underpinnings of how we got to where we are, Precious Lives producers Aisha Turner and Emily Forman visited Monk’s Barbershop.

Monk’s has been in Garden Homes since 1981. Shop owner William Campbell, aka Monk, started cutting hair down on the old Walnut Street back in the 1950s.

Monk walks us through the physical and economic changes he’s seen in the city so we can start to understand how we got here.

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