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 service in spite of Truman's desegregation of the armed forces. Gleason recounts his experiences in the Civil Rights movement, including seeing Martin Luther King Jr. speak on two separate occasions – once in Cleveland and once in Washington D.C., where he participated in a march for rights.
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The interviews in this series resulted from an initiative spearheaded by Campus District Inc. to document stories in conjunction with the planned closure of the high-rise building in the Cedar Estates housing project. Jane Addams High School students learned oral history techniques alongside CSU interviewers.