neighborhood life

Neighboring in Kouts

“If you are a good neighbor, your neighbor’s going to be a good neighbor.” Welcome Project at Valparaiso University · Neighboring In Kouts Produced by Rich Elliott with interviews recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the […]

Part 1: That’s Who I Am

“She actually made a bassinet out of a drawer for me.” Part 1 of an oral history story from an interview with Mayor Jerome Prince, Gary, Indiana. You can find Part 2 here, Part 3 here, and Part 4 here. Transcript for That’s Who I Am My mom was born in 1946. She was actually […]


“Pierogies are the Eastern European version of empanadas, you know?” An oral history story from an interview with Nicole Martinez-LeGrand, Multicultural Collections Coordinator, Library and Archives Division, Indiana Historical Society. Transcript for Cross Connect When I was growing up, ethnicity was kind of static. And I didn’t really come to understand what “ethnicity” meant until […]

Residential Segregation and Racial Inequality

“…central obstacles for black Americans seeking to make their way in post-war America.” Historian Heath Carter discusses how post-war policies and practices (including the G.I. Bill, redlining, and restrictive covenants) created a Northern Jim Crow. Transcript for Residential Segregation and Racial Inequality So for people to understand 21st century Gary, I think they really have […]

Before the Floodgates Opened

“I will call some agents out there and see what’s available, but I want to let you know what times we’re living in.” Transcript for Before the Floodgates Opened Open housing just opened the floodgates and made it possible for anybody and everybody to live in any parts of the city. My father was a […]

Things Like That, They Happened

“You kind of adjusted… we didn’t like it. We just, we kind of adjusted.” Transcript for Things Like That, They Happened We grew up in the neighborhood that was near Pulaski School. And at the time that I went, it was an East Pulaski and a West Pulaski. One was for the black children and […]

Proud of Where You Came From

“I wanted to [write] a book where people would say, ‘Oh, man, I loved that book, I want to go see where it took place…’” Produced by Rich Elliott. Transcript for Proud of Where You Came From I got interested in local history as part of, as my focus I guess, in my fiction writing, […]

History Came Alive

“History is a pattern of life…something that happened then and is continuing now or has an effect on what’s happening now.” Produced by Rich Elliott. Transcript for History Came Alive You know I hated history when I was a kid, just hated, I hated government, I hated history. I don’t know when I began to […]

A Wonderful Childhood

“We had a village out there in Small Farms.” Transcript for A Wonderful Childhood I grew up in the Midtown section of Gary. It was a place called the Small Farms. It was called that for a reason because where I lived there were no sidewalks, no paved streets. I remember as a kid, we […]