Northend Stories Pt 1: The Community.


Waterloo, Iowa, has been home to an African American community ever since the great migration north in the early part of the last century. Many were attracted by jobs which had opened up with the railroads, a packing plant and the John Deere Tractor Works. At first most of the black population lived in a close knit community near the railroad. A closeness which is explored in interviews along with questions about how it felt to experience discrimination and prejudice. Filmed in 2019, the Black Lives Matter events after the George Floyd murder are referenced because the Waterloo reaction has been distinct because of it's history of calling out racism and discrimination. There are now a black mayor, a chief of police and a representative in the state legislature.


Northend Stories Pt 2: The Cosby Center


Jesse Cosby came to Waterloo, Iowa, after the 2nd World War and found his vocation as a community organizer, choir director and square dance caller. As a black man from Alabama in the tight knit African American community of Waterloo, and at a time when segregation was the unspoken rule, he went beyond boundaries, setting an example for future generations of what community could be. His a cappella choir was popular throughout the area and he was in great demand as a square dance caller with what were all white dance clubs and churches. His dream of a community center in Waterloo's African American neighborhood became an ongoing reality after his untimely death from cancer.


Produced by Jim Morrison, a native of Waterloo who grew up blind to the other side of the tracks.