Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "civil rights"
28 total

Marjorie Pyles-Hearst interview, 13 March 2014

Marjorie Pyles-Hearst moved to Glenville from Kentucky as a child. She was actively involved in Glenville, especially Glenville High School, where she was crowned homecoming queen. Glenville High School inspired her to be a teacher. She was a teacher in NYC, and then moved back to Cleveland, where she lives in Cleveland Heights now.

Bruce Melville Interview, 18 November 2014

Bruce Melville discusses his involvement with various civil rights organizations in the early 1960s. He comments extensively also on the Hough/Glenville areas, particularly pertaining to school segregation.

Mary Rose Oakar interview, 30 August 2016

Mary Rose Oakar, the first Democratic female to be elected into Congress from Ohio, details her family and life events. She discusses her upbringing growing up in Ohio City and her work in Congress. She also details her work with the ADC (American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee) and stories of discrimination she witnessed against Arab Americans.

Bennie Jean Johnson interview, 10 November 2006

In this 2006 interview, Bennie Jean Johnson, a life-long resident of Cleveland, recounts many of her living experiences as an African-American in Cleveland. She talks about her early childhood homes in E.55th and E.79th Street neighborhoods during the 1950 and 1960 decades. She describes her experiences during the Hough Riots. She talks about Leo's Casino and other well-known Cleveland east side institutions. She also talks about her experiences in moving to the west side of Cleveland--first…

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Sonja F. Unger Interview, 24 February 2014

Croatian Native and longtime Clevelander, Sonja Unger describes her time in Cleveland. She begins by discussing how she volunteered to help accommodate newly arrived immigrants. She relates several interesting stories about various immigrants she encountered along the way. She then describes her political involvement in two arenas. The first being Civil Rights, which was mostly her husband's field, but she says she could not let him have all of the fun. She then talks about how she spearheaded…

Michael R. White interview, 23 July 2014

Michael R. White is the former mayor of the city of Cleveland, Ohio. This 2014 interview covers a range of topics, including White's student government activism at Ohio State University and his political career in Cleveland.

Hilton Smith Interview, 8 July 2014

Reverend Hilton Smith was the first African American senior Vice President of a construction company in the country and has worked for Turner Construction for 43 years. Smith recounts his work with the Civil Rights Movement, working to get the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the national mall, and his calling to the church.

Joanne Lewis interview, 26 June 2013

Joanne Lewis, a native Clevelander, describes what it was like growing up in Cleveland and later Cleveland Heights. She describes what her father did for a living, which provided her and her family a decent lifestyle. She recalls what she used to do for fun like going downtown, using the streetcars, and drinking milkshakes. She talks about the WPA and the various projects it worked on, including Cain Park. She describes her many travels around the world. She also discusses her involvement in the…

E. Christine Morris Interview, 04 June 2013

This interview is a followup to an earlier one with E. Christine Morris. She discusses her memories of the civil rights movement and tells stories about her husband seeing Malcolm X and her seeing tanks roll down Lincoln Boulevard in Cleveland Heights during the Glenville riots in 1968. She also discusses her church, New Community Bible Fellowship in Cleveland Heights, and her children's careers.

Hilton Smith interview, 08 August 2006

The Reverend Hilton Smith discusses the history of the City Club of Cleveland, the mayoral administration of Carl Stokes, and the civil rights movement in Cleveland.

Larry Rivers Interview, 04 March 2008

Larry Rivers, lifelong resident of Glenville, discusses growing up in Glenville during the 1950's and 1960's. He describes the self-contained nature of Glenville and the importance of churches to the community. Rivers relates the change in racial make-up of the neighborhood, the gradual shift towards an all African-American population and the decline of neighborhood businesses. He notes the change in African-American attitudes following the Hough and Glenville riots. This change contributed…

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Fran King, 8 June 2012

In this 2012 interview, Fran King, a longtime resident of Shaker Heights, describes her experience in the Ludlow community. Moving from Boston to Cleveland with her husband and her children, Mrs. King remembers the early days of the Ludlow Community Association. Becoming more active in civil rights, she details Ludlow's fight against white flight, and the attraction of Shaker schools for surrounding communities. Throughout her memories, the Van Sweringens are mentioned often. Mrs. King, also the…

Shelley Stokes Hammond, 6 June 2012

In this 2012 interview, Shelley Stokes-Hammond speaks about growing up in the city of Cleveland and then transitioning to the ever growing diverse community of Ludlow. She speaks about her lack of knowledge of racial aggression as a child, and the peaceful community she was raised in. She briefly discusses the attitude and tensions in the early days of the Ludlow integration, and the African-American response to the integrated housing plan put forth by the Ludlow Community Organization. The Van…

Emilie Barnett, 8 June 2012

In this 2012 interview, Emilie Barnett describes her Shaker experience. Wife of Irving Barnett, she began getting involved with the Ludlow Community Association from the very beginning, collaborating with notable Ludlow activists like Drew and Fran King. She describes the neighborhood dinners and meetings that predated the LCA, which eventually became the foundation for the Ludlow integration movement. She tells stories of the many events and fundraisers that occurred in Ludlow and in Shaker as…

Ruth Kymon Interview, 22 June 2012

Ruth Kymon talks about her experience doing the initial survey for the Ludlow neighborhood through Case Western Reserve University. She then talks about her experience in the civil rights movement in Cleveland where she goes to school in a church the day they closed Cleveland public schools.

Annabelle Weiss Interview, 12 June 2012

Annabelle Weiss is a long-time resident of Shaker Heights, having been drawn to the area primarily because of the reputation of the school district. In this interview Weiss speaks extensively about school and residential integration in Sussex and Ludlow, describing who the people were that led the push to integrate, reactions of the communities both inside and outside the neighborhood, and organizations established to ease the tensions that existed at the time.

Winston Ritchie Interview, 29 June 2012

Winston Ritchie, a Shaker Heights resident, was the Vice Mayor of that city. He describes his childhood experiences and how issues of race affected him as a child. Some of these issues were faced by his children while they were going to school. While Ritchie used race a light-hearted source of humor during his campaign, he takes the integration of Shaker Heights very seriously. It was the most important issue for him during his time in office. He is proud of his efforts in Shaker Heights and of…

Myra White Interview, 27 June 2012

In this 2012 interview, Myra White talks about moving into the Ludlow neighborhood of Shaker Heights specifically because it was integrated. She became involved in housing integration in Shaker Heights, worked for the city, and eventually became a realtor. White talks about housing in Shaker from the sixties to present day. She talks about the difference between neighborhoods, the challenges within each, and various successes.

Dargan Burns Interview, 17 July 2006

Dargan Burns talks about coming to Cleveland to find work in the emerging field of Public Relations. He discusses his educational background and the desegregation of Boston University. Other topics include segregation, World War II and Civil Rights. He talks about Carl and Louis Stokes and meeting a young Martin Luther King, Jr. Other topics of interest include confronting segregation at Cleveland YMCA and “targeting” institutions in need of civil rights reform such as the Cleveland Clinic,…

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Louis Gleason Interview, 25 February 2013

Louis Gleason attended the only Catholic Church (and the affiliated school) in Cleveland that welcomed people of any race. He attended John Carroll University before serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Berlin Airlift and the Korean War, returning to school, and finally working 24 years for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland until his retirement in 1995. He discusses how the Air Force recruiter assumed he was white because of his light skin. He discusses his experience of racism in the…

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Evan Morse Interview, 23 September 2014

Dr. Evan Morse owns and operates the Warrensville Animal Center in Warrensville Hts., Ohio, which he opened in June 1972. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, from a young age Morse had a strong interest in animals of all types. He attended Maggie L. Walker High School in Richmond, the University of Virginia and went on to study veterinary medicine at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama. Morse moved to Cleveland after graduation and became an associate of Dr. David Rickards whom he worked…

Rev. Adrian Lynum Interview, 2005

Adrian Lynum was born in Alabama but his family moved to Cleveland during the bus boycott in 1955. He found his calling later in life and in 2003 became the pastor at Calvary Presbyterian Church. In this 2005 interview, Reverend Lynum discusses his journey to become ordained, changes in the congregation at Calvary, due to area events and the changing city, and some of the work he does in the community.

Dargan Burns Interview, December 2005

This 2005 interview of Dargan Burns is a follow up to an earlier interview. In this later interview, Mr. Burns discusses in greater deal his friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr--how, when and where they met, and relates very personal stories about King that illuminate King's personality and magnetism as a young minister going to school in Boston in the early 1950s. In the second part of this interview, Burns discusses his involvement in Cleveland's historic Church of the Covenant. Burns…

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Dargan Burns Interview, November 2005

In this 2005 interview, Dargan Burns, an African-American discusses his involvement in integration efforts in Cleveland from the 1950s to the present. Burns, born in South Carolina, fought in the Army in World War II, and was educated at the Hampton Institute and Boston University. At BU, he met and became a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr.. He was also a friend of J. Harold Brown, who was very active in Karamu House. In 1954, Burns joined the then white elitist Church of the Covenant as one of…

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Pat Stanzel Interview, 2010

Pat Stanzel is a lifelong Cleveland resident. She was a "Rosie the Riveter" during World War II. She discusses her time working as the only female in various research labs after the war. After she married she went on to teach and was a teacher at a number of schools in Cleveland. During the busing program designed to desegregate the Cleveland schools, the teaching staff was desegregated first and she was transferred to a school on the east side where she was the only white teacher. She discusses…