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 to stabilize East Overlook Road. VanKleef also discusses the Heights Community Congress, Cleveland Heights businesses, the origins of the "Nuclear Free Zone" signs at the entrances to Cleveland Heights, and the changing nature of community issues in the Heights in recent years, including the Coventry Street Fair incident in 2011.

Participants: VanKleef, Judith (interviewee) / Souther, Mark (interviewer)
Collection: Racial Integration in the Heights
Institutional Repository: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection

Oh no! This interview has not yet been transcribed.
Transcription is expensive and time-consuming. You can support transcription on clevelandvoices.org by sponsoring an interview. As a sponsor, your name – or the name of your family or organization – will become part of the archival record. Donations to the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities are processed via the CSU Foundation and are tax-deductible.

Sponsor this interview

Racial Integration in the Heights

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.