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Kenosha shows solidarity in effort to spark change, rebuild 'uptown' neighborhood following unrest

Posted at 5:10 AM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 06:15:09-04

KENOSHA — Kenosha is trying to get back on its feet after violence destroyed businesses in the community early last week. People throughout Southeastern Wisconsin are now working together to rebuild and make their voices heard.

All along 22nd Avenue in Kenosha’s ‘uptown' neighborhood, businesses hit hard by rioting and looting, are boarded up with messages of hope.

On Sunday, the community stood strong together, calling for peace.

Hundreds marched up and down the streets as a united front, going by piles of rubble.

The rally came after days of unrest, sparked by the Kenosha police shooting of Jacob Blake, who is now paralyzed. Businesses were broken into, looted, some set on fire, leaving the community devastated.

Chiquita Myers was born and raised in Kenosha.

“It breaks my heart. It breaks my heart,” Myers said.

It was hard for her to see the neighborhood she grew up in now in ruins, but she decided to come out to show her kids the positive things happening in response.

“I want them all to understand that you’ve got to come together,” Myers said.

Nathan Upham helped organize the event called ‘Uptown Revival,’ with Webster X, a rapper in Milwaukee and a few others.

“I believe that we as a community need to show our solidarity,” Upham said.

All day, people donated necessities and other supplies in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store, before they joined together on the streets on Kenosha.

“Uptown is already a food desert. Uptown has been underserved for many, many years. This isn’t a new thing. Now that Family Dollar has been looted, these people have access to nothing,” Upham said.

“After the world moves on from Kenosha, what is ‘uptown’ going to do? So we need to establish more groceries, more co-ops, and more everything here,” Webster X said.

Old and young, black and white, side-by-side, took that first step to rebuild their community and move forward.

“Change needs to happen and I think this is the generation that’s going to make it happen,” Shenia Martin, who lives in Kenosha, said.

The rally ended peacefully, with organizers encouraging everyone to abide by the city’s curfew.

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