Rondo Avenue no longer looks like the thriving economic main street of St. Paul's historically Black community. Old Rondo Avenue, the social and cultural heart of a vibrant community, is now I-94, the national highway connecting the Twin Cities. In the 1950s, St. Paul intentionally cut the highway through the Rondo neighborhood. In July 2015, St. Paul's mayor apologized to the community during the annual Rondo Days celebration. "We regret the stain of racism that allowed so callous a decision as the one that led to family being dragged from their homes creating a diaspora of the African-American community in the City of Saint Paul," he said.
This History Harvest is focused on Remembering Rondo. On March 5, 2016 and April 1, 2017, in partnership with Rondo Avenue, Inc., students from Macalester College invited contributions of historical artifacts from former and current Rondo residents. The digital archive you'll find here includes what the Rondo community values -- old photographs, soup tureens, and other sentimental memorabilia.
This archive is made for the Rondo neighborhood, by the Rondo neighborhood, but we hope that others will find it relevant as well.
Photograph of Florence and Readus Fletcher, a Rondo mother and son, taken by Gordon Parks at Esther Peake Studios located in Rondo.
A sweet potatoe pie recipe from the Watkins Cookbook, a soup tureen, and a photograph of Rondo published in the Recorder.