The History of Rondo
Wed, Feb 19, 7:30pm
St. Paul’s oldest African-American neighborhood is named after French Canadian fur trader Joseph Rondeau. After the civil war and during the reconstruction period in the south, many African Americans sought a better life and moved north. Some arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota, where jobs in the railroad and lumber industries were plentiful.
Starting a new life on Rondo Avenue, residents became entrepreneurs, opening businesses and catering to the local community. Bonds were formed and frienships developed. A tight-knit neighborhood of people committed to education and opportunity evolved. Families looked out for one another.
Then in the 1960s, construction of Interstate 94 divided Rondo—shattering the community and displacing thousands of African Americans into a racially segregated city and discriminatory housing market. It radically changed the landscape, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood.
Rondo still exists and its persistence and growth are celebrated through events like Rondo Days and the Jazz Festival.
On Wednesday, Feb 19, at 7:30pm, MinneCulture presents an audio documentary on the History of Rondo, produced by Allison Herrera with assistance from Stuart Rosen. MinneCulture is made possible by a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Photos courtesy of the Minnesota History Center and Allison Herrera.