The stories you will hear on this podcast are from the people who lived or live in the Rondo neighborhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
In the 1920s, Rondo, Saint Paul’s largest African American neighborhood, was flourishing. With music, theatre, African American newspapers, and businesses booming, the community was thriving—until September of 1956, when construction of Interstate 94 tore through the Rondo community. Rondo homeowners resisted the construction, and protests began. Residents were forcefully removed from their homes. Thousands of Rondo homeowners were displaced. Homes and successful businesses were demolished, and a community was torn apart.
The construction of 94 shattered homes, businesses, and families. It did not shatter Rondo’s spirit.
These are the stories of “RONDO: Beyond the Pavement.”
Rondo resident Donna Evans
Rondo resident Melvin Emanuel
Rondo resident Miss Margaret Lovejoy
Community reaction to viewing RONDO: Beyond the Pavement
Rondo: Beyond the Pavement is a documentary filmed by Saint Paul youth that shares the voices of a thriving neighborhood torn apart by the I-94 corridor.
Monday, January 21
6 to 8 p.m.
55 Victoria Street, Saint Paul
Learning about what happened in the Rondo community while interviewing those who witnessed their homes being destroyed was heartbreaking. It was astounding the resilience they showed. It lit a fire in me. Rondo never stopped trying to rebuild what was there. It gave me a lot of confidence in myself to go after what I love to do in life. I learned that I-94 going through Rondo was a power struggle to limit what the black community could actually do. It didn’t stop us at all.
If we know who we are and who we came from, it helps us to go forward in our lives. If we know nothing about our history, then how are we to know about our future?Donna Evans, Rondo elder