Dear Milwaukee, I'm Sorry

by Thomas Wilson

Sorry Milwaukee. Sorry...these flowers are for you, from me.

I'm Sorry Milwaukee for ALL the wrong I've done. Can we start anew? I regret the things I did as a youth. I participated in the evils that were inflicted upon our communities. I was told either jail or hell would be the result of deciding to join the street life. As a misguided youth, I didn't really understand what that meant. In that life, I couldn't talk, have a relationship, invite new friends in, or look too flashy. I had to stay low-key. I thought that being true to the code of the street would keep me from harm's way. But in actuality, both my city and I suffered. I was taught that the streets are where I'd get the most gain, but the truth is that I only experienced loss. I lost friends, hope, relationships, family and my sense of community. And that truth hurts.

I will express my story and experiences through the designs in this collection and the blog posts that will accompany them. My prayer and hope are that it will help someone who is at a crossroads--an encouragement to choose a better path. I also want people to think about how they utilize their power; regardless of what role they play or what sector they're in. If your actions have harmed the people and/or the neighborhoods of this city, you owe Milwaukee an apology.

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