LifestyleBlack History Month


HBO documentary 'Growing Up Milwaukee' garners national attention

Posted at 6:18 AM, Feb 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-17 07:18:54-05

MILWAUKEE - A Milwaukee woman's documentary was just released on HBO this Black History Month.

It was born out of her frustration with many people seeing our city as a statistic. She decided to follow teens growing up in our city.

We spoke to Tyshun Wardlaw, the creator of the documentary called "Growing Up Milwaukee," "All of these statistics made me actually want to highlight black stories and tell our truths and tell what's happening in our communities."

Two years ago, Wardlaw documented the lives of three teens living in our community, "However they would allow me in to film their truth. I wanted that truth. I did not want to water it down."

Tiana Gee was one of them. She said, "When I first watched the documentary I just cried the whole time because it was so touching."

You follow the then-teenager's daily dilemmas while blowing audiences away with her musical talent. Her freestyle lyrics bare her personal struggles. She revealed another one with us, "At the time I was homeless. So, even filming frustrated me."

The documentary also took audiences inside Milwaukee Public Schools where children made surprising revelations. This includes issues with mental health and gun violence.

"All of us told our real stories what we were really going through," said Gee.

Tyshun has already gotten the attention of at least eight Milwaukee organizations that want to screen this documentary for its employees.

Tiana's music profile has been growing since the HBO documentary was released. She says she has received beats from musicians in Atlanta and Texas. She also started a new job in Milwaukee last Monday.

"Growing Up Milwaukee" is available to watch exclusively on HBO.

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