Elmer Street: The Northside

Apr 14, 2021

Credit Photo provided by Karl Smith, Logo by Tiana Batiste Waddell

WVPE's Karl Smith steps out of his usual role as host and producer of shows that focus on music and the arts to look at a piece of South Bend's secret history.  It's a program based in part on the book Better Homes of South Bend along with personal recollections from Karl's family and friends.


Elmer Street: The Northside is the 1950's era story of a group of African Americans in the city of South Bend, Indiana, who formed a co-op shrouded in secrecy. This was a challenge to the systems of racism and a way to try to fulfill the dream of owning a home. Based in part on the book 'Better Homes of South Bend: An American Story of Courage' by author Gabrielle Robinson, PhD.