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Social Studies

Ronne Hartfield


Middle East 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.

Watch the entire discussion (43 min.)
You can choose to watch the discussion from start to finish, or select a segment of the discussion.

Introduction (2'39 min.)
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.

Telling Stories (3'36 min.)
Ms. Hartfield 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.

Bronzeville Stories (2'43 min.)
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.

A Different Kind of Story: Poverty (3'44 min.)
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.

First Impressions (8'37 min.)
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, northern city.

Mixed Race Relationships (5'58 min.)
Ms. Hartfield discusses the mixed race relationships in her family's history and what this meant for their social and family lives.

Family Life vs. Public Life (9'12 min.)
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.

Ronne Hartfield's Bronzeville (7'01 min.)
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.

High School Years (2'33 min.)
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.

Explore other online resources about Bronzeville.

R E A D  T H E  B O O K
Click here to learn more about the book Another Way Home.
Ronne Hartfield's book, Another Way Home: The tangled roots of race in one Chicago family, is available from The University of Chicago Press.



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