Browse Interviews

  • Subject is exactly "race"
97 total

Monika Veliz Interview, 08 August 2023

Monika Veliz (b. 1977) was born in Italy and grew up in Euclid, Ohio, before attending Virginia Marti College of Design. Veliz discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s after attending meetings at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She discusses becoming active in Cleveland's Black underground LGBTQ+ Ballroom scene after joining the House of Chayde in the late 1990s. She discusses her career as a drag entertainer in Cleveland and describes the various gay bars and…

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Devinity Interview, 25 July 2023

Devinity (b. 1979) grew up in Sandersville, Georgia, before moving to Cleveland in 1992. Devinity discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s, her career as a female illusionist/entertainer, and discrimination within the LGBTQ+ community. Devinity discusses working as former employee of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, including her involvement in the Center's Trans Wellness Program, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Transgender Day of Visibility, and Pride events. She…

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Bryan C. Jones, 26 July 2023

Bryan C. Jones (b. 1960) is a native Clevelander and grew up in the Hough area before attending the University of Cincinnati. Jones discusses transferring to Florida A&M University and Florida State University in the 1980s and coming out as a gay man after becoming active in Atlanta's gay communities in the early 1980s. He discusses the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, receiving an HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the 1980s, and moving back to Cleveland in the 1990s. Jones discusses the intersections…

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Annette Fromm interview, 07 March 2018

Annette Fromm is a folklorist and museum professional in Miami Beach, Florida. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, she earned a Ph.D. in Folklore from Indiana University and was the curator and oral history project director for the Greater Cleveland Ethnographic Museum in the late 1970s. She discusses her involvement in the museum and describes various grant-funded exhibits and initiatives that it undertook, including working with Icabod Flewellen's African American Museum.

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Sally Tatnall interview, 05 June 2019

Sally Tatnall (b.1937), a radical feminist and community activist, speaks about her childhood in Buffalo, New York, and what it was like coming of age in the 1940s and 1950s. She describes her marriage to her husband, her civil rights activism and feminist activism with him, and her eventual divorce and introduction to lesbianism. Sally describes life in the lesbian-feminist collective in her Cleveland Heights home, Hag House or Berkshire House, and describes the work of radical feminist…

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Cynthia Harris Allen interview, 29 September 2018

Cynthia Harris-Allen was born in 1946 and grew up in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood on Cleveland's East Side. She discusses her father's work as a bricklayer and how he was among the first African Americans in the Bricklayers & Masons Local 5 union; racial discrimination faced by Black builders and building tradesmen; her father's jazz band; the racial makeup and businesses of her neighborhood growing up in the mid-20th century; hanging out at Shaker Square and trick or treating at Halloween in…

Karl Johnson interview, 09 August 2010

Karl Johnson discusses his experience of being a Cleveland tour guide, lesser known stories of Cleveland's past, the railway system, urban renewal and public housing, and the issue of race and racism in Cleveland and America. His interview consists of personal stories, thoughts on public housing, and a discussion of the Hough and Glenville riots which leads to discussion of race.

Richard Baznik interview, 18 June 2008

Richard Baznik, University Historian at Case Western Reserve University, provides a detailed history of the development of the university and describes how the school responded to various national and local events and movements. He notes CWRU's relationship with other cultural and educational institutions in the area.

Minerva Primes interview, 01 September 2006

Minerva Primes was born on a farm in small town in Georgia. She was reared in the church. At an early age, Primes developed a nuanced understanding of racial discrimination and segregation. She was well-educated and became an advocate for education. She discusses her experience working as a teacher, including working with white colleagues, her teaching method, and how black and white students interacted.

Ann Nelson interview, 07 July 2006

Ann Nelson, who came to Cleveland in 1965, provides a fresh account of growing up on the East Side of Cleveland and her experiences as an African American woman in Cleveland. She describes changes in the urban environment over time and the racial divisions that have remained constant throughout. As a teacher, Nelson offers her opinions on the state of primary and secondary education in Ohio, as well as the lack of investment Cleveland puts into African American children.

Dr Edward Jackson Interview, 01 July 2008

Interview with Dr Edward Jackson who is a senior advisor to the CEO at University Hospitals--primarily involved in championing diversity efforts at the system. Jackson relates how growing up in the Central neighborhood inspired him to work towards addressing disparities in healthcare. He discusses the role Case Western Reserve University, has played in attempting to bring diversity to the medical field in the area, and the history of these efforts in Cleveland. He also talks about health…

Beverly McClintok interview, 09 June 2007

In this 2007 interview, 74-year old Beverly McClintok, who was born in Bedford, Ohio, talks about her experiences living in Cleveland. She recalls memories of Euclid Avenue and Municipal Stadium in the 1940s. She talks about her work at Peoples Hope Church at W.65th and Bridge, where she was married in 1952. She lived in Ohio City from 1953-1963, and remembers the tornado of 1953 which killed 5 people on W. 28th St. Since 1963, she has lived on Madison. She talks about changes in the…

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Judge Ray Pianka Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Raymond Pianka, Judge of the City of Cleveland Housing Court, discusses the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. He first discusses the historical ethnicity of the neighborhood, including the immigration of Irish, and then later Italians and Romanians, into the area. He also discusses his own Polish heritage, and talks about his father and grandfather's industrial employment in Cleveland for a large part of the twentieth century. Judge Pianka also talks about the architecture…

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Patricia Kilpatrick Interview, 18 March 2014

Patricia Kilpatrick, Cleveland native, describes the changes that occurred around her city, her job, and her university. She begins by talking about living in East Cleveland during the Great Depression. Here she mentions that she went to the Aquacade, which was part of the Great Lakes Exposition of 1937. She chronicles the changes that East Cleveland has underwent over her 80-plus years in the Cleveland area. Change in the city was not the only thing she mentioned. She discusses changes in her…

Ursula Korniechouk Interview, 28 March 2014

Ursula Korniechouk, a native of Germany, describes her life in Germany and the experiences she had in Cleveland. Growing up during World War Two had a tremendous affect on Korniechouk. Her father was outspoken against the Hitler regime, and her mother was concerned that he would be apprehended by the authorities. She came to Cleveland because of her husband, and she quickly became acquainted with the racial divide in Cleveland. She was shocked at how people could be so racist in a country that…

Ivan L. Otto Interview, 18 March 2014

Ivan L. Otto, an immigrant to Cleveland, recalls traveling from Hungary as a refugee after World War Two. He describes the schools he went to throughout his life, and how he befriended an African American in the sixth grade who taught him English. According to Otto, they were two outsiders who stuck together. He mentions the different areas and neighborhoods that he lived in as a Clevelander. He also describes the big cases that he worked on as a lawyer. The biggest being the Doan Brook Dam. As…

Kenneth H. Cooley Interview, 21 March 2014

Kenneth H. Cooley, longtime Cleveland resident and native, discusses how Cleveland has changed over the years. He recalls being a kid and growing up in the Cedar Fairfax neighborhood. There he worked as grocery delivery boy where he got exposed to houses of prostitution, but he did not realize where he was until many years later. He continues by talking about the various clubs, bars, and other joints all around a neighborhood called Little Hollywood. Although, he never stepped foot in any of…

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.

James Hardiman Interview, 10 July 2014

James Hardiman is a lawyer who assisted in lawsuits regarding discrimination. He graduated from Cleveland State University with his law degree and later became the president of the Cleveland chapter of the NAACP twice.

Donna McIntyre Whyte Interview, 24 May 2013

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…

Sura Sevastopoulos Interview, 30 May 2013

Sura Sevastopoulos was born in Cleveland in 1948. She grew up with her mother and grandmother in Cleveland Heights, originally attended Coventry School, and recalls the walk to school quite vividly. She went to college at the Cleveland Insitute of Art, and while in school she worked at a nightclub called "La Cave," which featured many popular artists such as the Velvet Underground. Sura participated in antiwar marches down Euclid Avenue, and once lived on Hessler Road in the late 1960s. She…

Judith VanKleef Interview, 23 May 2013

Born and raised in the Bronx, Judith VanKleef attended college at the University of Wisconsin. She moved to Cleveland's West Side in 1950 and then to Cleveland Heights in 1964. She discusses the shifting color line on Cleveland's East Side in the 1950s-60s and the impact of blockbusting on neighborhoods including her own. She details a blockbusting campaign in the Grant Deming's Forest Hill neighborhood in about 1967 or 1968 that catalyzed the reconstitution of a long defunct block club to try…

Lucille Jackson Interview, 10 June 2013

Lucille Jackson was born in 1937 and grew up in Abbeville, Alabama. She tells a few stories about how she loved growing up in the rural area, and has a few sour memories of discrimination. One case she recalls was that of a black man who worked at the soda fountain who would re-use the white kids' cups and give them to the black kids. Once Jackson grew a bit older, she recognized he was doing this and told him she wanted a new cup just like everyone else. She went to a segregated, all-black…

Dianne R. McIntyre Interview, 31 May 2013

Dianne McIntyre was born at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Cleveland and grew up in Glenville early on and then moved to the Mt. Pleasant area with her mother and father on East 141st Street. Their family was the first black family on the block, although her father grew up around the corner. She recalls the onset of white flight and the neighborhood changing from white to black. She talks about how her parents made sure they had substitutes for things they could not do because of their race. She recalls…

E. Christine Morris Interview, 02 June 2013

Christine Morris was born in Columbus, Ohio, and had one brother. She grew up on the east side, but went to a school in the northern part of the city because her parents utilized her grandparent's address in the northern part of the city. She has fond memories of school and the neighborhood. She went on to Ohio University, and met her husband there, who was originally from Alabama. She finished her internship at the Cleveland Clinic. They lived first in the Mt. Pleasant area, and then moved on…

Dorothy Layne McIntyre Interview, 31 May 2013

Dorothy Layne McIntyre was born and raised in LeRoy, New York. She is the mother of interviewees Donna McIntyre Whyte and Dianne McIntyre. She was one of the first black women to receive a pilot's license in the United States and possibly the first woman in Ohio to receive such a license. She went to West Virginia State College for her training. She was an accountant, a social worker, and finished her career as a teacher, mainly at the Paul Revere School. She first lived in the Glenville area…

Arthur V. Brooks Interview, 11 June 2013

Arthur Brooks, a Cleveland Heights resident, earned his law degree and began working as a lawyer for Baker, Hostetler, & Patterson. Having been exposed to community activism while attending college in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he got involved in the community of Cleveland Heights. Brooks ran for office in Cleveland Heights but was defeated. He was encouraged to run for the Ohio State Legislature and served two terms as state representative. He returned to Baker, Hostetler, & Patterson to become a…

Donald Ramos Interview, 24 June 2013

Donald Ramos was born in 1942 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, to a family of Portuguese descent. He attended the University of Massachusetts, served in the U.S. Army, and enrolled in the doctoral program in Latin American Studies at the University of Florida. He accepted a position in the History Department at Cleveland State University in 1971 but soon moved to First College, a newly created unit in the university, where he stayed until 1997, when he returned to chair the History Department. He…

Robert P. Madison Interview, 11 June 2013

Robert Madison was born in Cleveland. However, his family moved to Selma, Alabama, when he was six months old Their because his father could not find employment in his area of study due to his being African American. Madison eventually returned to Cleveland and attended East Tech High School where he developed his interest in architecture. When he graduated from East Tech, he moved to Washington, DC, to attend Howard University. After three years he joined the ROTC and went to fight in Italy…

Leroy Brown Interview, 14 July 2013

Leroy Brown grew up in a sharecropping family on a North Georgia plantation in the 1920s-30s before moving to Atlanta, where he worked as a waiter. After serving in World War II in the South Pacific, Mr. Brown returned to Atlanta before moving to Cleveland. In Cleveland he found work as a bellhop at Haddam Hotel in the Euclid-East 105th area and then began a long career at Fisher Body in Euclid. He recounts the geography of black businesses on Cleveland's East Side and tells of personal…

Ora Sims Interview, 11 July 2013

Ora Sims was born on a cotton farm in Natchez, Mississippi, in 1917. Her parents owned the farm, which was rather unusual for African Americans in that area at the time. She recalls the hardships of farm life, including the boll weevil, but adds that in the Great Depression, she never felt poor because they grew all the food they needed. Sims recounts how her father fed passersby who were desperate for food and work during the Depression. She remembers the time before the Tennessee Valley…

Eleanor Cannaday Interview, 14 July 2013

Eleanor Cannaday grew up in the Cedar-Central neighborhood and lived in Springfield, Ohio, and Tuskegee, Alabama, during World War II as a newlywed. She returned to Cleveland after the war, and her husband worked as a contractor who built houses and did bricklaying in the eastern suburbs as they opened up to African Americans. She tells interesting stories about sewing class at Central High School, rollerskating at Pla-Mor, seeing big bands play at Trianon Ballroom, watching the decline of…

Steve Delano Bullock Interview, 26 July 2013

Steve Bullock grew up in a large family in eastern North Carolina. His father was a sharecropper. Bullock attended Virginia Union University and recalls discrimination he faced while working in Virginia Beach the summer before enrolling at VUU. After college he entered the U.S. Army and was assigned to guard against communist infiltration at one of the many Nike missile sites along the Great Lakes. He shares many memories of different manifestations of Jim Crow in the South in the 1950s-60s,…

Susanna Niermann O'Neil Interview, 25 June 2013

Susanna Neirmann O'Neil, a Cleveland Heights resident, worked for the Heights Community Congress and later for the city of Cleveland Heights. She worked to maintain the racial integration of the city and to promote Cleveland Heights to new residents in general. Building partnerships between realtors and the community was instrumental in achieving this goal. O'Neil helped create the Nine Point Plan, which successfully promoted a vibrant, integrated city. O'Neil stresses that the actions of the…

Kermit J. Lind Interview, 10 June 2013

Lind grew up in Kansas and, after college, attended graduate school at the University of Chicago. He taught at Cleveland State University and lived first on Cleveland's near east side, then in Euclid before choosing Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights as an escape from the racial intolerance he felt characterized Cleveland's suburbs in the early 1970s. Lind became active in testing compliance with fair housing laws and returned to school to earn a degree in law. In 1977 he assumed the…

Juanita Storey Interview, 14 April 2013

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…

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Donalene Poduska Interview, 24 June 2013

School activist Donalene Poduska, originally from Kentucky, describes her life and achievements. She gives a background of her education and what brought her to Cleveland. She describes her husband and the various places they lived together. She became involved with the PTA and anti-blockbusting tactics. She goes into great detail on the various projects she instituted and was involved with during her work with the schools.

Susan C. Kaeser Interview, 22 May 2013

Susan Kaeser lived in Wisconsin through graduate school. She earned a master of urban planning degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, during which time she met Cleveland City Planning Director Norman Krumholz. Krumholz brought her to Cleveland to serve as a city planner. When she arrived in Cleveland in 1976 she lived first in the Ludlow neighborhood near Shaker Square before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In the interview she discusses how she became a community activist, the…

Russell J. Toppin Sr. Interview, 19 June 2013

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…

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Sarah Taylor Interview, 3 July 2013

Sarah Louisa Taylor and her husband, Phillip, were orginally from England. Sarah works at Case Western Reserve University as a research assistant and helps new faculty members settle into the area. The Taylors were active in the Open Housing Task Force in the 1970s, which helped prevent efforts by realtors to prevent the racial integration of Cleveland Heights. The Taylors invited one such realtor to their home to discuss the issue, which led to a lawsuit against the Taylors by the realty…

James L. Jones Interview, 18 June 2013

James L. Jones, aka "Buddy" Jones, was born in Union Springs, Alabama, in 1912, the son of a sharecropper. At age 7 the family moved to Matewan, West Virginia, for his father to work in the coalfields. Trouble soon developed when his father became involved in the UMWA's effort to organize coal miners in the region. Jones recalls being evicted from company housing and having to live in a tent. Company-hired "detectives" fired upon the tents at night in the buildup to the infamous Matewan Massacre…

Derwood Tatum Interview, 23 May 2013

Derwood Tatum grew up in Hazard, Kentucky, and moved to Cleveland due to his father's newest ownership of a grocery store on East 65th and Woodland, called Tatum's Grocery Store. Tatum paints a picture of the Cleveland music scene during the late 1950s and early 1960s, an era which he owned Tate's Place, a record store (which later turned into a record store/ice cream shop/deli) selling mulitple artists' 45s like Duke Ellington, and Billie Holiday, to name a few. The record/deli/ice cream store…

Donna McIntyre Whyte Interview, 30 May 2013

Donna McIntyre Whyte, a Shaker Heights resident, has led a colorful life. She describes the life of her parents. Her mother was a pilot in the 1940s – a unique job for an African American woman at the time – and her uncle was a Tuskegee Airman. Whyte's parents passed a strong work ethic and a belief in the value of education on to her. Whyte describes growing up in the Mount Pleasant area and the fun she had with friends. She tells a great story about how kids would hide in the trunk of the car…

Renee Harrison Interview, 20 June 2013

Renee Harrison grew up in Glenville in the 1950s-60s. After graduating from Glenville High School, she attended Cleveland State University beginning in 1969. She began teaching in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights school district in 1974 and moved to Cleveland Heights the following year. She was a founding member of the Heights Alliance of Black School Educators and spends considerable time describing this stage of her career.

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.

Philmore J. Hart Interview, 03 June 2013

Phil Hart was born in Jewish Glenville in the 1920s. His mother and father's families were both in the community and he talks about growing up in the Glenville area, going to School at Patrick Henry and Glenville High School. After high school he started college at Ohio State, then going to Western Reserve University, then to Oberlin under the V-12 program with the Navy. Upon returning from the Navy he returned to Western Reserve and met his friend Robert Madison. He was politically involved in…

Hilton Murray Interview, 21 June 2013

Hilton Murray was born in Luverne, Alabama. Shortly after World War II his father decided that southern Alabama was too inhospitable for African Americans and joined the Second Great Migration, ultimately settling in Elyria, Ohio, to raise a family. After graduating from Elyria High School, Murray attended Kent State University and Cooper School of Art. After graduate school in advertising, he worked at WKYC TV-3 and WJW TV-8 in Cleveland. Much of the interview focuses on his difficulties as an…

Gerald Hughes Interview, 21 June 2013

Gerald Hughes is from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He grew up in a town that was majority white. He went to a Mennonite school in Indiana and through a volunteer program gained his first experience in the city of Cleveland. He initially hoped to work in the steel mills but they were on strike when he arrived in the city. Hughes was not fond of his first trip to Cleveland as it was a cold, wet day in March. His wife worked at Standard Oil and when he first moved to the area he moved by the place he…

John Lentz Interview, 12 June 2013

Reverend John Lentz is the pastor at Forest Hill (Presbyterian) Church, where he has served since 1994. He has a general knowledge of the church, the neighborhood surrounding it, and the city of Cleveland Heights itself. He is from Washington D.C., and a graduate from Kenyon College (in Ohio). He went to graduate school in Edinboro, Scotland, and was first involved as a pastor in Winchester, Virginia. He has a lot to say about the schools and how they are racially divided. He discusses founding…