Rooted In Rondo

A youth-produced short documentary and audio piece that explores the histories, legacies, and future of Saint Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood.

This project features interviews of prominent Rondo residents, oral histories of past residents, and stories from current community members.

Rooted in Rondo tells narrative stories from this historic Black neighborhood, pre- and post-construction of Interstate 94. Rooted in Rondo addresses what makes a community and how it heals after displacement and trauma.

This project is a product of Saint Paul Almanac, in partnership with Saint Paul Neighborhood Network and WFNU Frogtown Community Radio.

Screening at CHS Field Securian Financial Club – June 22

Please Join Us

Wednesday, June 22nd

CHS Field Securian Financial Club

360 N Broadway St, St Paul, MN 55101

FREE. Light appetizers, cash bar.

Film screening at 7:30pm.

Panel Discussion

A panel discussion from youth filmmakers will follow directly after the screening at 8:00pm.

Rooted in Rondo features interviews of former and current Rondo residents:

Brooke Blakey, Glenice Booker-Butler, Stephanie Booker-Wright, Verlene E Booker, Danny Givens, T. Mychael Rambo, Amie D Thomas, Jacquelyn (Crenshaw) Thomas, Andreésa Wright

Rooted in Rondo is produced by a team of youth and mentors:

Kojak Acon, Angelo Bush, Katharine DeCelle, Emmanuel Duncan, Melvin Giles, Indigo Davitt-Liu, Jacy Landi, Jasmine McBride, Jevrye Morris, Bianca Rhodes

Listen to Rooted in Rondo: a youth produced audio documentary

In the 1920s, Rondo, Saint Paul’s largest African American neighborhood, was flourishing. With music, theater, African American newspapers, and businesses booming, the community was thriving. Rondo was an integrated neighborhood through Jim Crow, it was a close knit neighborhood with upper, middle, and working class Black families. There was even interracial marrying and dating. The integrated nature of Rondo attracted many Black families from the south. Rondo felt safe to many families.

This thriving community began to falter in September of 1956, when construction of Interstate 94 tore through the Rondo community. This construction was a part of a national effort from the U.S government to break up Black communities. 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.

Rondo continues to be a resilient community.

This audio documentary was produced by youth producers Indigo Davitt-Liu and Jacy Landi, with mentorship from Katharine DeCelle and Listen Up Youth Radio. Original music created by Jevrye Morris.

Sounds Powerful Productions · Rooted in Rondo: a youth produced audio documentary