WXXI AM News

Connections: Previewing "Clarissa Uprooted: Youth and Elders Uncover the Story of Black Rochester”

Aug 14, 2020

What can today’s African American youth learn from their elders about black history and social justice in Rochester? It’s a question explored in an upcoming documentary produced by Teen Empowerment’s youth history ambassadors. Throughout the past year, they’ve been working with men and women who grew up on or near Clarissa Street in Rochester. The area was known as a hub for international jazz music and thriving black-owned businesses, but it was forever changed by redlining, institutional racism, and poverty.

This hour, our guests discuss what they learned through their project, and we preview “Clarissa Uprooted: Youth and Elders Uncover the Story of Black Rochester,” which will be screened virtually through the Little Theatre. Our guests:

  • Shanterra Randle, lead coordinator of the Clarissa St. Reunion Youth History Ambassadors project at Teen Empowerment, and social studies and special education teacher at Monroe High School
  • Tashiana Williams, Teen Empowerment youth history ambassador, and rising 10th grader at School of the Arts
  • Ninoshca (Nino) Irizarry, Teen Empowerment youth history ambassador, and rising 11th grader at Wilson Commencement High School
  • George Fontenette, longtime member of the Clarissa St. Reunion Committee, and former resident of Clarissa Street
  • Joan Coles Howard, member of the Clarissa St. Reunion Committee, and former resident of Clarissa Street