St. Paul's Rondo Days celebrate 3 R's – but resentment is not one of them

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Saturday's Rondo Days festivities will mark the 30th time those who remember the St. Paul neighborhood have come together to celebrate it.

A ceremony on Friday was meant to symbolically bury the bitterness left by that neighborhood's destruction decades earlier.

Rondo Ave. was the Main Street of St. Paul's African-American community – until its homes and businesses were condemned and destroyed in the 1960s to make way for Interstate 94.

The anger over the loss has faded over time, but Friday's healing ceremony was meant to put it to rest for good.

It was held at the corner of Concordia and Fisk, a site where a plaza commemorating the Rondo neighborhood is planned.

It will have interpretive displays about Rondo and African-American contributions to St. Paul, but organizers also see the plaza as a gathering place, with a stage and sound system for lectures and concerts.

Remembrance, Reconciliation, Restoration

The three R words above served as the motto for Friday's healing ceremony.

Rondo Avenue Inc., the group that organizes Rondo Days, says the annual celebration is about recognizing the past, honoring the present, and soaring into the future.

Marvin Roger Anderson, a co-founder of Rondo Days, tells MPR News the hope is that today's young people will learn about Rondo's legacy and what their elders went through, adding "...we hope that once they learn that history and that legacy of Rondo it will help shape their futures, for a more positive future."

Vanne Owens Hayes, a former Rondo resident, tells the Star Tribune there's a mistaken impression among many that the area was a low-income neighborhood. Hayes says many middle-class homeowners lived in Rondo, which was also marked by social clubs, restaurants, a union hall, and a meat market.

The Rondo Commemorative Plaza & Garden Facebook page has images of some of them. Find more below or in a longer video on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnw8AFMzmqw

Learn more about the Rondo neighborhood here, here, or here. Find a map showing how the neighborhood was divided into pieces here.

Next Up

Zach Parise

Ghosts of Wild's past force split with Sharks

Brent Burns and Ryan Donato thwarted a comeback attempt by the Wild.

Avante Dickerson

Top-ranked recruit Avante Dickerson decommits from Gopher football

The four-star cornerback was the highest-rated recruit in Minnesota's 2021 class.

u.s. district court minnesota - federal court minneapolis

Limits on in-person court activity extended for 45 days

The statewide order extends current limitations through March 15.

D'Angelo Russell / Minnesota Timberwolves

The Timberwolves need more from D'Angelo Russell

The Wolves haven't gotten what they expected since making a blockbuster trade.

oct. 20 snow crash

Spinouts, crashes still happening after snow leaves MN roads a mess

The snow storm caused at least 208 crashes this weekend.

1024px-Crock_pot

For The Week: Food tips and tricks to get you through the next 7 days

BMTN's food writer Lindsay Guentzel makes life easier for Minnesotans.

snow, plow

Here's how much snow fell in Saturday's storm in Minnesota

MSP Airport had the highest total as of 7 a.m. Sunday with 5.3 inches.

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 3.17.49 PM

No KAT? No D'Lo? No problem as Timberwolves defeat Pelicans

The Timberwolves were without Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell, but still picked up a (SCORE) win.

Screen Shot 2021-01-23 at 7.53.44 PM

Spinouts, crashes across Twin Cities as snow gets heavier

There have been multiple incidents across the metro area.

Mason Branstrator

Family, friends raising funds for teen soccer standout with spinal injury

Mason Branstrator of Duluth was injured in a skiing accident.

Related