Interviews, Documentaries, and More

Telling Our Own Stories: Black History

Author Rachelle Chase shares the history of Buxton, Iowa in the Telling Our Own Stories: Black History. The Black History segment, produced by Professor Venise Berry and filmmaker Steve Berry, a brother and sister team, is part of a four-part series on Iowa PBS. 

In September 2023, this documentary was nominated for an Emmy Award. 

The African American Midwest: A 500 Year Fight for Freedom

Author Rachelle Chase shares why Buxton, Iowa is relevant today in this excerpt slated to appear in the documentary "The African American Midwest" currently in development. As stated in “The 1539 Project: Why Black Midwest and Iowa history matters,” producers of “The African American Midwest” hope to show that the Midwest is not only America’s geographic heartland — it is the beating heart of African American history. 

Remembering Buxton, Iowa: A Town Lost to Time

In this hour-long special on Buxton, Iowa produced by KYOU, Rachelle Chase provides the history of Buxton, Iowa. Rachelle also shared her research and provided sources to the producers.

Dancing Through Redlines: The Jesse Cosby Story | Waterloo, Iowa

Rachelle Chase interviewed family members of Jesse Cosby while viewing  photographs they donated to Fortepan Iowa. Rachelle also assisted with production of the documentary by identifying interview responses to be included and providing script input and final edits. Rachelle also narrates the story of Jesse Cosby, sharing his family’s memories, along with the story of segregation in Iowa marked by redlining and limited job opportunities for Black Iowans.

This video, produced by Fortepan Iowa, highlights the life of a remarkable man named Jesse Cosby living in 1950s Waterloo, Iowa. As a Black janitor working at the “white only” Waterloo Recreation Center, Cosby set out to offer recreational activities, like golf, tennis, and square dancing for Black children in Waterloo. He also created two choirs that traveled to small, mostly white-populated towns across Iowa, bringing Black gospel and choral music to Iowans. Cosby also became a renowned square dance caller. 

Interviews and More

Productivity and Time Management for Multi-Passionate Entrepreneurs with Rachelle Chase

Author Rachelle Chase and executive director of Uniting Through History appears on Big Brave Business. You could be in the middle of founding your business, haven't even started, or are a veteran of the game. No matter where you are, you have a place at BBB. This show was built on the belief that you can create absolutely anything for yourself. Whether it is a dream job or a dream is truly all possible for you.

An activist has no hope for his homeland as Uganda's parliament passes LGBTQ+ ban

While same-sex relationships were already illegal in Uganda, punishable by lifetime in prison, a bill that has passed in Uganda's parliament would ban citizens from identifying as LGBTQ+ and the so-called promotion of gay identity.

It also includes the term "aggravated homosexuality" which makes sexual intercourse with someone who has HIV a crime punishable by death.

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe talks with author and columnist for the Des Moines Register Rachelle Chase, who was in Uganda wh

Buxton, Iowa - Black Utopia (Rachelle Chase) - Iowa Civil Rights History

The town of Buxton, IA was seen as a utopia by many Black Americans who migrated to the town to work at the coal miners. Black and white families lived, worked and played together and their children went to the same schools. White residents included immigrants from Sweden and elsewhere, and they existed peacefully with the African-Americans throughout the community’s history.

Buxton was the town that supported African-American doctors, lawyers and other professionals, with everything integrat

Book club unites through history

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Many of us set resolutions to read more this year. A new book club can help you do that while opening your mind to history. Rachelle Chase, Founder of Uniting Through History, shares details on the History Book Club.

Learn more and sign up at

It's all about the chase

Our Monday Zoom Lunch guest last week was Rachelle Chase, The Des Moines Register’s newest Opinion columnist.

Rachelle is full of surprises. She once wrote romance novels, rode motorcycles, almost appeared on a national television matchmaking reality show, worked in the corporate world in San Francisco, lived across the globe, shares an RV with her dog, and is a Black woman living in Ottumwa. Today, she writes about the stories that catch her attention in Iowa.

Traveling this summer? Here are book picks for all 50 states (and then some)

Traveling this summer? Here are book picks for all 50 states (and then some)

As the summer travel season kicks off, many of us look forward to exploring new places on trips away from home. To help with this, NPR asked poets laureate, state librarians, bookstore owners and other literary luminaries from all 50 states — plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico — to recommend quintessential reads that illuminate where they live.

Here are more than 100 recommendations for you —

Buxton, Iowa: One Of The Whitest States Once Had A Thriving Community Of Black Doctors And Lawyers

When you think of Iowa, let’s be real, you don’t think of a state that’s filled with Black people.

In fact, the most recent U.S. Census data shows that Iowa ranks in the top 10 of the Whitest states in the country where an estimated 90 percent identify as Caucasian.

It’s been this way for longer than most of us have been alive but there was a point in the state’s more than 170-year history when there was a predominantly Black town thriving on the level of Tulsa, Oklahoma and Durham, North Caro

Contest helps students unite through history

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

An organization is helping students unite through history. Rachelle Chase, Author of “Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa” and founder of Uniting Through History, shares the details about the second annual hip history contest.

Learn more and sign up at

Historian/ Educator Launches $2K Scholarship Contest About Predominantly Black Town in Iowa

Nationwide — Most people haven’t heard of Buxton, Iowa — a thriving, integrated coal mining town of 5,000 residents established in 1900, where Blacks and whites were treated equally, and Black Americans were doctors, lawyers, teachers, business owners, and leaders in the community. Rachelle Chase, the author of two books about Buxton and the founder and the Executive Director of Uniting Through History, wants to change that.

To help spread the word about this amazing town, Chase invites middle

Living in Harmony - Meet Author Rachelle Chase | Insight On Business the News Hour

This is both a story about history and also hope. Here you'll meet author Rachelle Chase who has written two books about the racially diverse community of Buxton, Iowa. A community that was started by "Corporate America" yet the citizens, both black and white, lived in harmony. The amazing thing is Buxton dates back to 1900 in a time when discrimination and inequality were the order of the day. You'll also learn more about her non-profit Uniting Through History. Meet Rachelle and her story:


Rachelle Chase - Lives Radio Show & Podcast with Stuart Chittenden

She started her writing career writing sexy romances, but in 2008 Rachelle Chase discovered Buxton, Iowa thanks to her former romance writing instructor and friend, Leigh Michaels. By January 2017 she’d written, sold, and released her first nonfiction book, “Lost Buxton” and, in 2019, her second one, “Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa.” In this show we talk about her writing, a life of adventure that includes quitting her job to move to South America, joining a motorcycle club, and compl

Juneteenth celebration to be held in Ottumwa

OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - June 19th, otherwise known as Juneteenth is a day celebrated by African Americans that acknowledges the ending of slavery in the united states.

Recently President Joe Biden signed into law that Juneteenth will now be federally recognized as a national holiday.

Through the same week, the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival will take place the committee decided to include the Juneteenth event in their program.

This will be Ottumwa’s first Juneteenth festival.


United Through History Launches Contest To Highlight Black History

Rachelle Chase is an author and journalist. She has written romance novels and two non-fiction books about Buxton, Iowa, a fully racially integrated coal mining community that thrived in the early part of the 20th century.

Chase has now founded a new non-profit called "Uniting Through History," and has launched a Hip History Contest, in an effort to bring the history of Buxton to life.

“Young people today love to express themselves online and watch their favorite content creators," says Chase.

Local author makes her mark in the community for Black History Month

OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Rachelle Chase, who is an author and community activist, was originally a California native and moved to Iowa in 2014 after researching the history of Buxton. She says it lead her to switch her story writing from what it once was to what it is now.

“I couldn’t really stop thinking about this community, so I would research, I would come to visit and I would just keep going there, and then when I was like ok I don’t want to write romance. I had about three romances out by t


Rachelle Chase, author of "Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa" and “Lost Buxton,” has given more than 80 presentations about the amazing town of Buxton. Rachelle’s work with Buxton coupled with George Floyd’s murder last year, motivated Rachelle to launch her new nonprofit, Uniting Through History, this month. For more information about Rachelle and her projects, visit her at and

Author Rachelle Chase Starts Uniting Through History

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Life is about the chase. Those are the five words Rachelle Chase lives by. She really does it all. She is an author, public speaker, business owner, and model. Now she’s adding Executive Director to the list. She recently launched the non-profit Uniting Through History.

You can learn more at

Buxton, Iowa - A Historic, and Possibly Haunted, Townsite

BUXTON, Iowa (KYOU) - It feels almost out of place now, the ruins of a town in the middle of a field. There’s not much left standing.

It was called Buxton, and it was a diverse and almost one of its kind coal mining town developed by the Chicago and Northwestern Railway. At its peak, Buxton had around 5000 people. I spoke with Rachelle Chase, who’s an author of two books about the town - “Lost Buxton”, and “Creating the Black Utopia of Buxton, Iowa”.

“Blacks were treated equal to whites, there
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