Here is a preliminary description of Timbuktu


This is from a letter I sent to James S. Carlson September 20, 2004.

Dear James,

I would love for Bucketworks, Timbuktu, and Milwaukee to offer the world a great surprise come the NAACP convention…a once rust-belt city, called by many a redneck, racist city, transforming itself into a world welcoming creative working class city of grace, beauty, and justice.

Clear sailing through clearer light,


James enthusiastically reponded to this letter. My daughter Megan Wines Godsil organized a meeting of James with Youssouf Komara, along with Omar Gagale, one of the founders of Timbuktu, an African/World Music/Culture venue in Riverwest, Milwaukee, on Center and Booth. Our meeting with James was inspiring and hopes grew for locating Timbuktu at the south wall of Bucketworks, with a patio, huge windows overlooking downtown, a glass partition between the patrons of Timbuktu and the creators at Bucketwork work/play stations further inside.

For starters, Timbuktu will be located at 520 E. Center, an already finished place that will spare Omar and Youssouff the expense of creating a whole new place. My hope is that there will be a Bucketworks presence at Timbuktu, and a Timbuktu presence at Bucketworks. Omar has agreed to a portabale work station and display structure so that the history of the NAACP can be presented to Timbuktu patrons and wiki workers and masters can offer some wiki training that will support a NAACP membership drive. James has agreed to serve as wiki master to students and wiki workers to make this happen, as well as offer more advanced wiki classes we hope will be taken by those who would augument the influence of the NAACP, and the prosperity of social enterprises like Timbuktu.

Here is what this concept has become by Thanksgiving week, fom a letter sent to Tanya Cromartie Twaddle:

A non-violent revolution has commenced in Historic Milwaukee. The uprising is being led by a grand alliance of all of God’s children in Milwaukee, who are committed to creating the conditions whereby Milwaukee is re-revisioned by Martin Luther King’s birthday, 2006, from a racist, red-necked factory city (the old “Milwaukee is the most segregarted city in the USA mantra), to an emerging cosmopolitan city of the creative working classes representing all of God’s identity groups.

The vanguard of this revolution, which we’ll call “renaissance” to avoid misunderstandings, is centered around the activists of the NAACP, Bucketworks, Timbuktu, the rainbow Milwaukee arts community, and the recently re-energized Milwaukee left, from all of Milwaukee’s identity groups and social classes. Let’s call this vanguard the “rainbow grand alliance.”

Bucketworks and Timbuktu will be collaborating around these projects:

  • support the NAACP membership drive, 2005

  • Save the Soldiers Home movement

  • the internet empowerment of Milwaukee’s working classes to dramatically reduce the “digital divide”

  • spark an acceleration of cultural and heritage tourism to bring millions of dollar over the years to the art and artisans, and knowledge worker studios and workshops on our historic streets like MLK, North Ave., Vliet St., National Ave., KK, and so forth.

Last edited by an anonymous user of Milwaukee Renaissance. Based on work by Godsil and anonymous users of Milwaukee Renaissance.  Page last modified on November 30, 2004

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