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Little Rock’s West 9th Street: How Societal Changes, Urban Renewal, and a Highway Lead to the Demise of a Once Vibrant Black Community

For many decades, Little Rock’s West Ninth Street was the heart of the city’s African American community. “The Line,” as the street was sometimes known, was home to businesses, churches, fraternal groups, and a host of other entities. It also boasted a significant residential population. Unfortunately, by the early 1960s, societal changes, urban renewal, and the construction of Interstate 630 were leading to the demise of the once vibrant community.

This documentary seeks to recognize, memorialize and share this history. The spirit and hard work of the people and the implications of federal programs such as Urban Renewal, school desegregation, the Housing Act of 1949 and the Eisenhower Interstate Program are explored. West 9th Street and the Dreamland Ballroom have patiently waited for their story to unfold so new audiences can connect to their historical past and unknown future.

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