Take a genuine look back to ignite a great step forward
80% of Saint Paul’s African American population once lived in Rondo. They enjoyed friendship, culture and pride in this mixed-income community with a flourishing middle class. Rondo was a bustling place where businesses prospered. A lively neighborhood where residents danced their steps, played their games and swayed to a rhythm all their own. People worshiped together. They fell in love. They raised families. They believed in the promise of a better tomorrow for their children.
But that promise was severely threatened.
Rondo was devastated when I-94 ripped through the community. This vibrant neighborhood was shattered with the 1956-1968 construction of Interstate 94. 700 family homes were demolished. 300 businesses were closed or torn down. And to make matters even worse, inadequate compensation went to the families for their significant losses. The effects of the fateful decisions made decades ago, are still being felt today.
It’s time to make up for past mistakes. It’s time to go well beyond the pavement and create a land bridge that repairs, restores and revitalizes the Rondo community for African Americans and other residents and organizations.
Video: Remembering Rondo with Marvin Anderson. Almanac, PBS.
Remebering Rondo. Video courtesy of Almanac.
Wrong is Wrong
– Rondo was literally split in half
– 700 African American owned homes were destroyed
– 300 African American businesses were destroyed
– $270 million home ownership equity gap in Rondo*