As Emeara Burns sat on the roof of a Grand Center building one sunny day last summer, she received a history lesson that had her hanging on every word.
She and five others gathered atop the .ZACK performing arts venue to record a podcast about St. Louis neighborhood the Ville. They sat in a socially distanced circle, speaking into microphones through their masks.
Emmy-winning storyteller Bobby Norfolk and longtime political activist Percy Green II traded tales about having shrimp at the Sarah Lou Cafe amid the vibrant nightlife of a Friday evening in the 1960s.
“Sitting there just soaking in all that information was so life changing for me,” Burns said. “It made me go back home and think: What do we have to do to get back to that?”
The podcast is part of “The Why Of My City,” a project that artist collective St. Louis Story Stitchers has been working on since 2019. It includes the group’s first album and a series of podcasts highlighting life across the city, especially in largely Black neighborhoods.
Listen to the full story by Jeremy Goodwin on St. Louis Public Radio here…