About the Podcast:

In our society, memory and cultural heritage are commonly shared through oral histories and storytelling. As Americans, we are deeply rooted with traditions, customs, and stories that capture our individual ethnic identity. When used to preserve cultural resources and heritage, oral histories and newspapers enhance contextual histories by offering remnants of the past that would otherwise be lost.  For many, American history and cultural heritage are separate ideals instead of shared resources. The Deeply Rooted Heritage podcast aims to build on Gray & Pape’s cultural heritage focus by inspiring an appreciation of cultural heritage and intangible culture by presenting untold histories and discussing relevant matters in the fields of historic preservation, architecture, urban planning, public policy, social history, environmental conservation, museum studies, and archaeology.

As a cultural heritage and public history project, Deeply Rooted Heritage seeks to honor the challenges of underrepresented groups in America, whether it be Native American, African American, Jewish American, Chinese American, Muslim American, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, etc., and elucidate how shared heritage amalgamates us as Americans, yet expresses ethnic diversity. The customs, traditions, and stories that make us unique need to be captured, studied, and better understood by us all. Deeply Rooted seeks to achieve this goal by cultivating a general appreciation for American cultural history through shared heritage.

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Season 01 Episode 02: Urban Uprisings: The Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (AKA the Kerner Commission)

Mini-episode Description: 

During these pressing times, we all need to be more vigilant in our efforts to combat prejudice and stand up for social justice. Civil unrest is not new in America…in fact, it’s deeply embedded in our history. Recent urban uprisings are a direct response to centuries of unchecked police behavior but, in essence, they seek to affect large-scale changes to the way minorities in this country are treated in our governmental system. At this time, on the side of the federal government, not much is being done to understand the root causes and solve today’s problems; however, historically there once was a leader who sought to better understand the challenges of one of the most marginalized groups in the country, African Americans. That leader was President Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) who launched the War on Poverty and the Model Cities program, signed the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968, and initiated the ‘Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders’, more commonly known as the ‘Kerner Commission’.

This mini-episode revisits the commission’s findings in the Kerner Report in an in-depth, yet brief discussion about the history of urban uprisings with Dr. Eric Jackson from Northern Kentucky University.  To check out the digitized Kerner Report, click here.

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Season 01 Episode 01: Urban Renewal in Cincinnati’s Lower West End

Episode Description:

Prior to the mid-twentieth century, Cincinnati’s West End neighborhood was characterized as a dense urban area full of social and economic activity comprised of multiple thousands of buildings that housed almost 5% of the city’s entire population.  Urban renewal impacted the existing landscape of the lower West End through two separate projects. During the late 1930s, new public housing buildings were constructed byway of renewal. On an even larger scale, during the 1960s, the city sought to create a new industrial area known as Queensgate I or the Kenyon Barr Urban Redevelopment project, which resulted in the comprehensive demolition of thousands of dwelling units, systematically displacing over 25,000 residents. It may not surprise you to find out that the large majority of families forced to relocate out of the West End were African American. In fact, prior to the 1960s renewal project, the neighborhood housed 75% of the city’s black population.

In this first Deeply Rooted Heritage episode, we dig deep into the history of the West End to better understand the heritage of a once thriving community by speaking with local urban historians Anne Delano Steinert and Dr. Eric Jackson.  Towards the end of the episode, Anne describes, then deconstructs, the story behind the photographs from her Finding Kenyon Barr exhibit.

Follow along visually by checking out the Urban Renewal Episode Storymap (created using ArcGIS)!

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