“The Neighborhood of Saturdays” is a collaborative research project undertaken by the Department of Anthropology at IUPUI along with a number of community-based organizations, including the Concord Neighborhood Center, Etz Chaim Sephardic Congregation, South Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, the Southside Picnic Committee and the Babe Denny Neighborhood Organization. Through oral history interviews and archival research, students are reconstructing a portrait of this unique Indianapolis neighborhood, located on the near Southside, that was once home to a range of immigrant groups as well as to significant populations of African-Americans and Appalachians. The students have focused primarily on documenting the experiences of two communities: Sephardic Jews who came to Indianapolis from what was then the Ottoman Empire and African Americans, who migrated up from the south and from other Midwestern industrial cities. These two communities lived side-by-side in the neighborhood from the 1920s up to the 1960s when many of the Jewish residents migrated north. The remaining residents, many of whom were African-American, were then displaced ten years later by the construction of I-70.
This research will result in the publication of a small community history book; initial funding for that project has been secured through a Venture Grant from the IUPUI Solution Center. Thanks also to the IUPUI Department of Anthropology and the IU School of Liberal Arts.
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