April 20, 2020
Vivian Gibson grew up in Mill Creek, a neighborhood of St. Louis razed in 1959 to build a highway. Her family, friends, church community, and neighbors were all displaced by urban renewal. In this moving memoir, Gibson recreates the every day lived experiences of her family, including her college-educated mother, who moved to St. Louis as part of the Great Migration, her friends, shop owners, teachers, and others who made Mill Creek into a warm, tight-knit, African-American community, and reflects upon what it means that Mill Creek was destroyed by racism and “urban renewal.”
Vivian Gibson was raised in Mill Creek Valley―454 acres in the heart of downtown St. Louis that comprised the nation’s largest urban-renewal project, beginning in 1959. She started writing short stories about her childhood memories of the dying community after retiring at age 66. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.
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