We Live Here We Live Here explores the issues of race, class and power that led to the emotional eruption in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting death in Ferguson. St. Louis Public Radio reporters Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley, along with editor Shula Neuman, present podcasts, radio features, web stories and use social media for an in-depth exploration of how systemic racism impacts people as well as the well-being of our region and beyond.
We Live Here

We Live Here

From St. Louis Public Radio

We Live Here explores the issues of race, class and power that led to the emotional eruption in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting death in Ferguson. St. Louis Public Radio reporters Tim Lloyd and Kameel Stanley, along with editor Shula Neuman, present podcasts, radio features, web stories and use social media for an in-depth exploration of how systemic racism impacts people as well as the well-being of our region and beyond.More from We Live Here »

Most Recent Episodes

Trying to make a way for upward mobility

It's an open secret that the nation's housing voucher (section 8) program has its issues. And that glaringly, a program intended to give people choice often doesn't, because turns out, many landlords on the private market aren't rushing to participate and take housing subsidies, no matter that they're backed by Uncle Sam. In St. Louis, it leads to this data point: just 7 percent of housing voucher holders live in "high opportunity areas." But very quietly over the past year, a pilot program here — one of only a handful like it in the country — has been trying to change that

The present day of public housing's past

The specter of Pruitt-Igoe still looms over St. Louis. The massive 1950s era public housing complex suffered under disinvestment and bad public policy. Ultimately, officials literally blew the whole thing up. Since then, the focus of public housing has shifted to the Section 8 voucher program and smaller developments. Yet, the model of large public housing complexes is still very much alive today. From mice to mold, the problems facing St. Louis' aging public housing complexes is long. And there's not much funding to fix a backlog of issues. On this episode, we tell you what life is like for our neighbors living in two of the last remaining vestiges of St. Louis' public housing past.

Real estate Redemption

Segregation is systemic. We know that. But who powers these systems? People. In this episode, we zoom in on a group that holds immense power in guiding where people choose to live and raise families.Today's show is about real estate agents. And what happens when some try to make amends for their industry's past transgressions by focusing on a single St. Louis neighborhood.

Nuisance, or nonsense? (Part 4)

Rosetta Watson has won her fight against the city of Maplewood, Mo., which kicked her out of town after she generated too many calls to police while dealing with an abusive ex-boyfriend. Now what? We catch up with her, give her case some national context and chart out what may come next for the people challenging these nuisance and crime free laws.

Nuisance, or nonsense? (Part 3)

We're interrupting our normal storytelling podcast schedule for...some breaking news. Earlier this season we brought you the story of Rosetta Watson, a woman suing in federal court after she says she was kicked out of Maplewood, Mo. for calling police too many times for protection from an abusive ex-boyfriend. Two days ago we got a tip that Maplewood had settled with Ms. Watson, who is set to receive a six-figure settlement. And the town's city council voted to move forward with changes to their nuisance ordinance. On this episode bring you the latest news out of the leafy suburb of Maplewood.

The Descendants

*J.D. and Ethel Shelley wanted a better home for their children. They were crammed into a small apartment in downtown St. Louis, but had saved enough money to buy a nice, two apartment building in a quiet neighborhood in north St. Louis called the Greater Ville. However, racially restrictive covenants barred the Shelleys, who were black, from owning the home. So in 1945 a white realtor bought the home from the Kraemers, who were white, and then quickly signed the deed over to the shelleys. When the Kraemers found out, they filed a lawsuit to get the Shelleys kicked out. The case made its way up the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in 1948 that enforcing restrictive such racial restrictive covenants was unconstitutional in St. Louis and the rest of the country. And while historians may get the facts and significance of the case right, there are details and human truths that are best expressed by family members. On this episode, Kameel and Tim listen to the descendants of J.D. and Ethel Shelley tell the story of their family's place in American history. *

Update: Housing Defenders

The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled on a case we highlighted at the beginning of our season. That of Latasha Johnson, whose eviction case made it to the state's highest court because of it's importance to tenants rights.. And the ruling, issued in a holiday news dump, does indeed change some things. Short story: The court ruled for Johnson's landlord. But it also laid out some really important new guidelines for tenants rights. Only problem ... they do nothing to change Johnson's situation or expunge the eviction from her record. In other words, the ruling is a mixed bag.

One House at a Time

Eltoreon Hawkins always thought he would be a cop. That's how he wanted to serve his community. But he quickly became disillusioned with the criminal justice system he wanted to see reformed. So he's turned his efforts closer to home. specifically, to real estate. And what started out as a plan to secure a future for himself and his family has turned into a mission for this 20-something: taking back his neighborhood, one vacant house at a time.

I Live Here: Homes and the Stories they Hold

Hear a group of St. Louisans tell their stories on stage as part of our annual "I Live Here" event. This summer's theme was "Homes and the stories they hold." This week's episode was made possible with the help of the Second Tuesdays story organization and local music producer Trifeckta. Visit www.welivehere.show to hear the full, raw audio of the event and additional storytellers!

Paved Over Histories

Today's show is all about the g-word: Gentrification. Which we often think of as happening in urban centers. But for generations there's been a slow turnover as cities expanded into the suburbs and rural areas. That's the backstory of Brentwood Promenade, a relatively affluent mall about 15 minutes outside of city of St. Louis. For 90 years it was home to middle-class African American families centered around the Evens-Howard Fire Brick Company. Developers bought and demolished the neighborhood in 1997. All that's left now is a plaque near a liquor store in the back of the plaza. The story of Evans-Howard Place has been acted out countless times in St. Louis and across the rest of the country. If you're from around our region you might know about Mill Creek Valley, or Laclede Town, or Meacham Park. But on today's episode, we tell you about a historic African American community in west St. Louis County that's fighting to avoid the same fate. To hang on to its land, history and future. This is the story of Westland Acres.

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