John Lunkins was born in Cleveland in 1964. His family was one of the only black families on his mostly Italian American street, East 113th off of Union. Growing up, Lunkins had a best friend who was of Italian descent. He shares his fondest memories of his childhood, playing baseball in the street with his friends, but then also recalls that when all the kids went to go play in the little league, he was unable to play because of his color. As Lunkins grew up he experienced some racially driven incidents, but his upbringing instilled a tolerance about these issues, and he often looked the other way. He recalls going downtown for shows, rock shows, and eating at the Forum Cafeteria.
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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/desegregation and fair housing in Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights in the 1950s to 1970s.