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'Syracuse's 15th Ward and Beyond' documentary to premiere May 22 at Storch Theatre

April 30, 2010

Kelly Homan Rodoski
(315) 443-3784

Last fall, Syracuse University’s South Side Initiative and the local Black History Preservation team sponsored a bus tour of old Syracuse: the 15th Ward and other historical sites.

Some 30 senior members of the community, who have lived in Syracuse for at least 40 years, participated. The tour and the participants’ stories and recollections of Syracuse’s past were filmed for a documentary, “Syracuse’s 15th Ward and Beyond.” The documentary was created by local filmmaker and SU alumna Courtney Rile.

The documentary will be debuted in a red carpet premiere on Saturday, May 22, in Syracuse Stage's Storch Theatre. Reservations are no longer being accepted for this event. A second showing will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 27, at ArtRage Gallery, 505 Hawley Ave. in Syracuse. This showing is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. Call 218-5711 for more information.

Among the former sites the tour participants visited were the Ebony Market, Croton Elementary, Old Dunbar, The Glass Bottom and Open Door lounges, Ben’s Kitchen, the Father Brady Center for Black Catholics and Washington Irving Elementary School.

“The Black History Preservation Project is a direct response to the South Side community’s interest in more fully representing Syracuse’s rich history,” says Linda Littlejohn, associate vice president for SU’s South Side Initiative. “We are privileged to develop a virtual community museum that celebrates the history and heritage of black people in the Syracuse region with community residents, the City of Syracuse’s Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Onondaga County Public Library, the University’s Black Syracuse project, SU’S E.S. Bird Library and the Onondaga Historical Association. We also acknowledge the Dunbar Association for the use of their space.

“In keeping with our motto, ‘Your story is our history,’ we look forward to providing additional opportunities for people to share their stories with the Black History Preservation Project,” Littlejohn says.

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