"I've lived the life of ten men" says Charles Carmickle, a Louisiana native and retiree. He had worked for Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, was a music promoter to well-known R&B acts, attended both law and culinary school, and is a Vietnam veteran. He also served as the first black deputy sheriff in an all white suburb and reminds the field school students that "the history you read about, I've lived through it."
Mr. Charmickle moved to the Wisconsin and the Washington Park neighborhood three years ago. He participates in several community groups and is well known on his block.
Upon moving to Milwaukee, he thought many of the people had just given up on life and the neighborhood was unlike any other he previously lived in. It was the place where he was first robbed. His home was burglarized and he had two cars stolen from him within one month. Despite this, he is well known on the block and has been successful in getting neighbors to take care of their properties, help one another, and stop negative behaviors like selling drugs. Full of wisdom and artistic voice, Mr. Carmickle states, "it's neighbors that make neighborhoods."
Mr. Carmickle hosts an online streaming radio show through Riverwest Public Radio titled Life.
Charles Carmickle, interview by Godson Mollel, June 2014.