The Ville | St. Louis Public Radio

The Ville

Former Homer G. Phillips physician Earle U. Robinson Jr. and his daughter, Rebecca Robinson-Williiams worked together to create a documentary about Robinson's time at the historic black-run hospital in the Ville.
Doug Jaggers | WFYI News

In the mid-20th century, St. Louis was home to one of the only hospitals where African-Americans could train as doctors. In segregated St. Louis, Homer G. Phillips Hospital was built to cater to the city’s black population, which was barred from the city’s white hospitals.

“This is a hospital that was all black. From the very lowest job to the medical director,” said Earle U. Robinson Jr., an OB-GYN who completed his internship and residency at the hospital from 1958 to 1963. “Since the hospitals in St. Louis were segregated, Homer G. Phillips was built for the black population.”

Wendel Patrick

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, we profiled The Ville, a historic black neighborhood in St. Louis. The stories of the people who live there are shared in a new podcast episode that’s part of a collaboration between St. Louis Public Radio’s “We Live Here” and the podcast “Out of the Blocks,” from Baltimore’s public radio station, WYPR.

Juwaun Crawford plays Chuck Berry.
Emanuele Berry | St. Louis Public Radio

The history of the Ville neighborhood has been told through books and film. Now the community's story will be told through opera.

In honor of St. Louis’ 250th birthday, St. Louis ArtWorks commissioned “On Whose Shoulders We Stand: An Opera,” which focuses on the Ville.

It will be performed this weekend by students in the ArtWorks program.

Juwaun Crawford is one of the teens in the program. With his sailor hat and shiny gold guitar crafted from cardboard and foil, he plays a magnetic Chuck Berry.

Erin Williams

Being an entrepreneur takes more than just having what you think is a “good product.” It takes marketing, development, being social, and most importantly, mentorship. And, you have to be willing to build it from the ground up. But where do you start? For Sylvester Brown, you go with something that’s plain and simple: sweet potatoes.