Ronne Hartfield, author of Another Way Home: The tangled roots of race in
one Chicago family, shares personal experiences from her life growing
up in Bronzeville on Chicago's South Side and reads excerpts from her memoirs
in order to illuminate the realities of life for an African-American family
with roots in New Orleans and Chicago. Ms. Hartfield's intimate discussion provides
an evolving portrait of the lives of members of an African-American middle class
family from the 1920s.
the entire discussion (43 min.)
You can choose to watch the discussion from start to finish, or
select a segment of the discussion.
Jane Ciacci, the Staff & Organization
Development Librarian for the University of Chicago Library introduces
Ronne Hartfield. The introduction provides a brief background
of Ms. Hartfield's achievements.
begins by discussing her interest in listening to people's
stories as a way of capturing their histories. Her primary
goal in writing this book to is to tell her mother's story
in a way that captures her language and speech which are
as important to her story as the words that she uses.
The purpose of the Bronzeville
section of her book and this talk is tell the stories of ordinary
residents of Bronzeville like herself and her mother and how
they lived their lives in order to complement the traditional
stories of Bronzeville that everyone has heard: about blues,
jazz, and the street life.
Different Kind of Story: Poverty (3'44
In order to illustrate
the kinds of stories about Bronzeville that differ from the story
that she wants to tell, Ms. Hartfield reads Kitchenette building by
Gwendolyn Brooks. This poem illustrates the poverty that many
authors describe when talking about life in Bronzeville.
Ms. Hartfield reads an excerpt
from Another Way Home: The
tangled roots of race in one Chicago family in her mother's
voice describing her hopes and expectations for Chicago before
arriving on the train, her first impressions on arriving in
Chicago at the train station and driving in to Bronzeville
for the first time, and how she adjusted to life in this new,
Race Relationships (5'58
Ms. Hartfield discusses
the mixed race relationships in her family's history and what
this meant for their social and family lives.
Life vs. Public Life (9'12
Ms. Hartfield reads
excerpts about her own childhood experiences that describe the
neighborhoods around Chicago that she explored on the street
cars, the public life of African-Americans in Chicago in the
1940s, and her private, family life.
Hartfield's Bronzeville (7'01
Ms. Hartfield reads
more excerpts that offer her impressions of her Bronzeville growing
up and how it compared to other neighborhoods in Chicago that
she traveled to with her family. She also discussed how Bronzeville
has changed over the years.
School Years (2'33
Ms. Hartfield reflects on her high school years
at Wendell Phillips High School and how the school's teachers
and graduates (Nat King Cole and Warner Saunders are among them)
have impacted the Bronzeville community.