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 remember when the building of John F. Kennedy High School, and that the boundaries they drew for the school district seemed like a racial boundary in order to make Kennedy an "all black school." At this time in the early to mid sixties, white families were fleeing the city and created South High School, the "white" equivalent to JFK. Whyte attended John Adams High School because it had honors programs and because her father went there. She was friends with people who went to JFK because the school was built her junior year. The interview stops at her high school graduation. She provides a great account of what it was like to grow up in the Glenville and Mt. Pleasant areas in the 1950s and 1960s.
Sponsor this interview
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.
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.