Racial Integration in the Heights (USRA 2013)

Interviews in this series were collected by undergraduate students at Cleveland State University under the supervision of Dr. Mark Souther, with funding from the Office of the Provost. The series contains interviews with pioneers of suburban residential integration and social activists who supported peaceful managed integration and fair housing in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights in the 1950s to 1970s.

Juanita Storey and her husband moved into Cleveland Heights during a time of strong racial segregation. Race was the primary factor in determining where people lived. Realtors played a role in maintainig the racial segregation of the city. She describes the process of racial integration in the city during the 1960s at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The 1960s was a particularly interesting time in Cleveland Heights because of the diversity of attitudes among the city's residents. People…

Elizabeth Billingsly speaks about her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama, and Cleveland during the beginning and height of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and onward.

Donna McIntyre Whyte is a Cleveland native, born in 1948, and grew up in the Glenville neighborhood, and then later on to the Mt. Pleasant area. Her father taught her and her sister many domestic and handy skills such as how to work on cars. She lived close to her grandparents, close enough to walk their alone as a child. Her grandparents have interesting stories, and she appreciated them and spent a lot of time with them. She does not recall any distinct instances of segregation, but does…

Toppin was born in 1940 and grew up in the Cedar-Central and Glenville neighborhoods. His grandparents came to Cleveland from Georgia during the Great Migration, and his paternal grandfather started Majestic Cab Co. His father worked at the TRW plant in Euclid. He recalls the "Gold Coast" entertainment venues along East 105th Street, including in the Euclid-East 105 area, in the 1950s-70s and Motown artists who played the clubs. He describes the racial transition in the area as one from…

Nicholas Mazzone talks about growing up in Cleveland's near west side and the clubs and tensions of the 1960s and 1970s.