Meet Me Halfway: Milwaukee Stories

Paperback | April 21, 2015

byJennifer Morales

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When Johnquell, an African American teen, suffers a serious accident in the home of his white neighbor, Mrs. Czernicki, his community must find ways to bridge divisions between black and white, gay and straight, old and young. Set in one of the nation’s most highly segregated cities—Milwaukee, Wisconsin—Meet Me Halfway tells stories of connections in a community with a tumultuous and divided past. In nine stories told from diverse perspectives, Jennifer Morales captures a Rust Belt city’s struggle to establish a common ground and a collective vision of the future.
            Morales gives life to multifaceted characters—white schoolteachers and senior citizens, Latino landlords, black and Puerto Rican teens, political activists, and Vietnam vets. As their lives unfold in these stories, we learn about Johnquell’s family—his grandparents’ involvement in the local Black Panther Party, his sister’s on-again, off-again friendship with a white classmate, and his aunt’s identity crisis as she finds herself falling in love with a woman. We also meet Johnquell’s mother, Gloria, and his school friend Taquan, who is struggling to chart his own future.
            As an activist mother in the thick of Milwaukee politics, Morales developed a keen ear and a tender heart for the kids who have inherited the city’s troubled racial legacy. With a critical eye on promises unfulfilled, Meet Me Halfway raises questions about the notion of a “postracial” society and, with humor and compassion, lifts up the day-to-day work needed to get there.

Runner-up, Short Story/Anthology, Midwest Book Awards

Best books for public & secondary school libraries from university presses, American Library Association

Wisconsin representative for “Great Lakes Reads,” Library of Congress Center for the Book and its affiliated Midwest centers

Outstanding Achievement Award, Wisconsin Library Association (one of ten 2015 books chosen)

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From the Publisher

When Johnquell, an African American teen, suffers a serious accident in the home of his white neighbor, Mrs. Czernicki, his community must find ways to bridge divisions between black and white, gay and straight, old and young. Set in one of the nation’s most highly segregated cities—Milwaukee, Wisconsin—Meet Me Halfway tells stories of...

Jennifer Morales lived for more than twenty years in Milwaukee, where she raised children and served on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors—the first Latino/a elected to it. She earned her MFA from Antioch University–Los Angeles. She now lives in Viroqua, Wisconsin, and is a board member of the Council for Wisconsin Writers and the...

other books by Jennifer Morales

Format:PaperbackDimensions:202 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.7 inPublished:April 21, 2015Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299303640

ISBN - 13:9780299303648

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
 
Heavy Lifting
Fragging
Prelude to a Revolution
Got the Ball
Revision
Misdirected
That’s the Way Cats Are
Menudo
Pressing On

Editorial Reviews

“[Jennifer Morales is] an impressively gifted writer. [These] short stories are lucid, compelling, deftly crafted, thoughtful, and thought-provoking. Very highly recommended for community and academic library collections and for personal reading lists.”—Midwest Book Review