65 Years Later: Racial Divides in Northwest Ohio School Districts

Legal segregation may seem a bygone era—a chapter in U.S. history textbooks. But systemic racism persists today, including in the very institutions teaching that history: schools. We take a look at data from school districts in Northwest Ohio to see how our region measures up.

Computers for a New Era of Learning

A look at how Detroit Public Schools Community District spearheaded—and is continuing to deliver on—an initiative to provide its 51,000 students with devices and Internet access amidst a pandemic.

Returning to Build Cincinnati’s Future: A Conversation with P.G. Sittenfeld

Over a year ahead of the election, P.G. Sittenfeld is already running to be Cincinnati’s next mayor. Born and raised in the city, he’s on a quest to build a more equitable future. Midstory talked with Sittenfeld about why he returned home and his future plans for Cincinnati.

Film, Storytelling & the Midwest: A One-on-one with Brandon Li

The Midstory Team chats with Brandon Li, a travel videographer, about his unique style of filmmaking, the impacts of the pandemic on the travel and videography industry and his perspective as a nomad who grew up in and left the Midwest.

Voting in the Midwest, Part I: The Transformative Force of Race and Class

At first glance, the Midwest seems to be undergoing an electoral shift to the right. This change in voting attitudes manifested itself in 2016; in a single election, many Midwestern states—with the exception of Illinois and Minnesota—flipped from “blue” to “red” on the electoral map. But the region’s electoral history shows a much more complicated position.

South to Midwest: My Grandfather’s Great Migration

Through conversations with her grandfather, the author unpacks his personal history during the Civil Rights Movement and the Great Migration—one that paved the way for generations to come. Read his story and listen to excerpts from the interview.

The Science Behind Wearing Masks: Answers From an Infectious Disease Expert

As COVID-19 cases rise across the nation, masks (and requiring citizens to wear them) have become a major point of contention. We speak with Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences and an infectious disease modeler at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, about the use of masks and other ways to slow and prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

The Midpoint

The Midpoint is a platform for regional and national dialogues in health, policy, society, culture, the arts & more.

Film, Storytelling & the Midwest: A One-on-one with Brandon Li

The Midstory Team chats with Brandon Li, a travel videographer, about his unique style of filmmaking, the impacts of the pandemic on the travel and videography industry and his perspective as a nomad who grew up in and left the Midwest.

Public Libraries: Reopening & Addressing Social Inequities

The Midstory Team chats with Jason Kucsma, the director of the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, about the evolving role of the libraries during the crisis, the move of library resources toward digital infrastructure and considerations on policies for reopening.

What We Can Learn from Taiwan’s COVID-19 Response

The Midstory Team chats with Dr. Shao-Hsuan Hsia, the director of the Division of Pediatric Respiratory Therapy and the Chief of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, social responsibilities and the state of public health in Taiwan.

Film

A film review series that examines how cinema expands our understanding of city identity and how reemerging cityscapes in the post-industrial age have influenced cinema.

War! Who Is It Good For? A Review of Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods, this June’s Netflix-exclusive Spike Lee joint, opens with archival footage from the American Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, prophetically resonating with the current political climate. Lee is known for righteous anger and aggressive political filmmaking (his production company is called 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks for a reason). The power that a film like Da 5 Bloods holds is often directly proportional to the political, cultural and social climate into which it is released, and one might argue that 2020 is not just the backdrop, but center stage in our experience of the film.

No, Ignorance is Not Bliss: A (2020) Review of WALL-E

The summer of 2008 saw the glorious and yet understated release of Pixar’s robot romance WALL-E. A post-apocalyptic film made for kids,...

On the Value of Simplicity: A Review of Song of the Sea

In times of chaos, uncertainty and conflict, children’s movies maintain an attractive simplicity in their lessons and morals: kindness, responsibility, harmony, getting along… And while these ideal visions with clean, wholesome endings are often too simple to rely on for our worldviews, they remain welcome reminders of our shared humanity and the interconnectedness of our stories. Some messages bear repeating and emphasizing for children and adults alike.

Public Health

Articles looking at the state of public health during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The Science Behind Wearing Masks: Answers From an Infectious Disease Expert

As COVID-19 cases rise across the nation, masks (and requiring citizens to wear them) have become a major point of contention. We speak with Dr. Jeffrey Shaman, a professor of environmental health sciences and an infectious disease modeler at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, about the use of masks and other ways to slow and prevent the transmission of COVID-19.

What We Can Learn from Taiwan’s COVID-19 Response

The Midstory Team chats with Dr. Shao-Hsuan Hsia, the director of the Division of Pediatric Respiratory Therapy and the Chief of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, about Taiwan's response to the pandemic, social responsibilities and the state of public health in Taiwan.

Common Misconceptions About COVID-19, Debunked

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, information—accurate and otherwise—is being disseminated just as quickly. And this “infodemic” has been facilitated through social media, making information more accessible but also harder to discern. As you sift through masses of information to make informed decisions during this crisis, here are some common misconceptions (and what we do know) about COVID-19.

Think

Thought pieces about different themes and subjects in the Midwest.

The Quiet Revolution of Midwestern Speech

For decades, the Midwest was the example of perfect, accentless English. Now, increasing dialectic quirks are changing that perception, and with it, Midwestern identity.

The Power of Place and the Tradition of American Symbols

At a moment of social unrest motivated by a struggle for racial justice and framed by a pandemic, protesters haven’t sought policy changes alone; they’ve also sought to recast other facets of our society, including long-standing monuments. A look back in time shows that the ensuing debate on monuments is not a new conversation in American history.

The Politics of Midwestern Identity & Racial Divides

The nationwide protests spurred by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis have brought a magnifying glass on the Midwestern city—its people,...

Interactive

Interactive projects on Toledo's cultural, historical, and innovative destinations.

Lake Erie Park and Casino: A Text Adventure

Click below to begin. The early 20th century was a transformative period...

Lost in the Pythian Castle: A Text Adventure

It's late. You're on the edge of an empty parking lot in downtown Toledo.

Timeline of the Skyline: Toledo’s Horizon through the Years

You may not immediately recognize this skyline as Toledo's: "Timeline of the Skyline" is an interactive project showing a chronological representation of Toledo's horizon. Click on a specific building on the timeline below to learn more about its history and present...

In the Midst

An exploration of the cultural, historical, and innovative products of Toledo.

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The Reopening of a Library (and a Legacy): Anna C. Mott and the Future of Libraries

Today, libraries are about more than just reading and studying. With the new Mott Library location, the changing space of the library is given the name...

The Cannaley Treehouse Project: A Space of Intersection

The “midstory” is the middle tier in a canopy of trees—a balancing force that provides coverage to the lower story and support...

Living La Vie en Rose at Boyd’s Retro Candy

A few years ago, I heard a rumor about the city deciding to bring in public opinion before it embarked on a project to...

Home in the Swamp

Toledo, the Great Black Swamp, and the region’s settlement history.

The Forgotten History of Ohio’s Indigenous Peoples

In a landmark case this July, the Supreme Court ruled that about half of Oklahoma is Native American land, a decision that...

Trailblazers of the Great Black Swamp: 31 Miles, 31 Taverns

If you’ve ever driven from Perrysburg to Fremont or Fremont to Perrysburg—or anywhere along the way, for that matter—you’ve experienced a pleasant, roughly 40-minute...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood

The recollections and reflections of Michael Murray, a Toledoan born and raised in the South Side in the 1950s.

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: “Someday I Will Own It”

In 1977, I bought my dream house at 2210 Robinwood Avenue in the Historic Old West End. I first spotted this home when I...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: Paper Deliveries

Every day after school I would ride my bike to the Blade station at Carlton and Spencer Street. I learned the art of pitching...

Memoirs of a Toledo Childhood: Hand-me-downs

My parents’ house payment was $52 a month back in the '50s. We had nothing, and there were no extras; we had one pair...

l👀k

The story of an individual experiencing Toledo through weekly journal entries, finding beauty in the ordinary, everyday things.

(Re)claiming Toledo Legacies

The Toledo legacies that shaped the past and continue to shape our present and future.

(Re)claiming Toledo Legacies: SSOE and Post-Industry Innovation

The Toledo we know today was made in industry and manufacturing; WWII and the subsequent economic boom made Midwestern city centers the iconic American...

Finding a Midstory in Environmental Crisis: The Toledo Plastics Project

Everyone now knows that there is an island of plastic sitting in the middle of the ocean, and, most recently, that companies like Starbucks...

From Luxury Living to Beer Brewing: The Oliver House’s Adaptive Life Through the Centuries (Of Industries)

Toledo’s Alegae Bloom will return this year on August 2. No, not the one filled with toxic microcystins—although this one is just as vibrantly...

Toledo | On The Map

We compare and contrast Toledo with cities across the globe, focusing on crucial issues our city faces today.

TOLEDO | ON THE MAP: New York City & the Museum

While the Met in NYC is internationally well-known and has a lot of resources, the Toledo Museum of Art is also world-renowned and is...

TOLEDO | ON THE MAP: Chicago & the Library

The Chicago Public Library system may be more well known, but the Toledo Lucas County Public Library has more resources per resident and many outstanding comparable...