Browse Interviews

  • Collection: Racial Integration in the Heights (USRA 2013)
61 total

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

William Easterling, son of a coal deliverer and a domestic, grew up in Glenville. With the schools deteriorating and operating on half-day schedules by the 1960s, he and his wife sought a new home in the Cleveland Heights. They faced racial steering to the east of Lee Road but managed to purchase a house on Norfolk Road in Cleveland Heights at a…

Les Jones provides a very clear, interesting interview, and has a very touching, local story to tell about how he achieved a home in the community he had always dreamed about. As a young child growing up in the Glenville area (East 105th) he would ride his bike to the Cleveland Heights area, and describes it like "going on a vacation" because it…

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…

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…

Robert Madison was originally born in Cleveland. However, his family moved to Selma, Alabama, when he was only six months old. Their reason for leaving the city was because his father could not find employment in his area of study because he was "Colored." Madison eventually made it back to Cleveland to attend East Tech High School where he would…

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…

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…

Born in 1950, Gibson grew up first in the Glenville neighborhood and then in Kinsman, with most of that time at Garden Valley, an urban renewal housing development near Kinsman and East 79th Street. He tells great stories about the early days in Garden Valley in the late 1950s before the gullies were filled with dirt excavated along the downtown…