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Rondo Oral History Project

34 INTERVIEWS

DATE: 1997-1998, 2003-2004

INTERVIEWERS: Kateleen Cavett (principal interviewer), Manny Anderson, John Biewen, Christina Bonkowske, Sarah Brandt, Tony O. Dosen, Bettina Heiss, Krissy Kopp, Kent Shifferd, Buelah Baines Swan and Kimberly Zielinski

Collection of interviews, created by Hand in Hand Productions, capturing the lives and experiences of long time residents of St. Paul, Minnesota's Rondo community, an urban neighborhood situated near the city's downtown commercial district. A mixed neighborhood with respect to ethnicity and income, it has been home to a significant African American population since the early 1900s and was a particularly vibrant community in the 1930s. The neighborhood was essentially devastated by the construction of Interstate Highway 94 through its center in the 1960s. Many of its African American inhabitants, businesses, churches, fraternal orders, and social clubs were displaced into more segregated locales where they faced discrimination in housing and other areas.

Subjects discussed by the interviewees include life in the Rondo community, including the role of music, church, and social clubs; resistance and reaction to the highway construction; eviction from Rondo Avenue and trying to find housing elsewhere, transitioning from predominantly black schools to predominantly white schools, and discrimination outside Rondo; racism; employment opportunities during World War II and the subsequent loss of opportunities after the war; military experiences during the war, including in the Tuskegee Airmen and in a Navy band; activities at the Hallie Q. Brown Community Center and the Sterling Club; work experiences of both men and women of the community; obstacles to achieving success; and both male and female service in the St. Paul Police Department.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEWS: 38 hours 34 minutes

TRANSCRIPTS: 1,914 pages

Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Benjamin Louis Alexander
Benjamin L. Alexander
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Alumni of the Three-Fours Girls Club
Three-Fours Girls Club
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Marvin Roger Anderson
Marvin R. Anderson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Mary Kalleen Murray Boyd
Mary Murray Boyd
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Melvin Whitfield Carter, Sr.
Melvin W. Carter Sr.
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with William L. Collins, Jr.
William L. Collins Jr.
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Anisah Hanifah Dawan
Anisah Hanifah Dawan
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Wilbert John Dugas, Jr.
Wilbert J. Dugas Jr.
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with William Kelso Finney
William K. Finney
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Teresina "Willow" Carter Frelix
Teresina Carter Frelix
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Willie Lee Frelix
Willie Lee Frelix
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Kathryn Coram Gagnon
Kathryn Coram Gagnon
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Barbara "Petey" Vassar Gray
Barbara Vassar Gray
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with James Stafford Griffin
James S. Griffin
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Mary Chambers Bradley Hamilton
Mary Bradley Hamilton
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Melvin T. Henderson
Melvin T. Henderson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Nathaniel Abdul Khaliq
Nathaniel Abdul Khaliq
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Gloria Jeanne Lindstrom Lewis
Gloria Lindstrom Lewis
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Richard Morris Mann
Richard M. Mann
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Gloria Yvonne Presley Massey
Gloria Presley Massey
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Yusef Mgeni
Yusef Mgeni
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Gladys Versie Clemons Miller
Gladys Clemons Miller
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Debbie Gilbreath Montgomery
Debbie G. Montgomery
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Ora Lee O'Neal Patterson
Ora Lee Patterson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Dr. Constance Raye Jones Price
Dr. Constance Price
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Ventress Laroe Jackson Roberson
Ventress Roberson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Floyd George Smaller, Jr.
Floyd G. Smaller Jr.
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Floyd George Smaller, Jr. and Marvin Roger Anderson
Floyd Smaller Jr. & Marvin Anderson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Buelah Mae Vivian Baines Swan
Buelah Mae Swan
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with David Vassar Taylor
David Vassar Taylor
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with H. Janabelle Murphy Taylor
H. Janabelle Taylor
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Bernice Wilson
Bernice Wilson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Don Gaugh Wilson
Don G. Wilson
Rondo Oral History Project: Interview with Gloria Ellen Gilbreath Wilson
Gloria Gilbreath Wilson