Cynthia Harris-Allen was born in 1946 and grew up in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood on Cleveland's East Side. She discusses her father's work as a bricklayer and how he was among the first African Americans in the Bricklayers & Masons Local 5 union; racial discrimination faced by Black builders and building tradesmen; her father's jazz band; the racial makeup and businesses of her neighborhood growing up in the mid-20th century; hanging out at Shaker Square and trick or treating at Halloween in Shaker Heights; and the Civil Rights Movement. Late in the interview, Harris-Allen discusses her writing interest, banking career, and enrollment at Cuyahoga Community College in retirement. This interview was part of a Literary Cleveland community storytelling project.
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This series comprises a wide range of interviews conducted by Center staff since 2005 in support of the Euclid Corridor History Project, Neighborhood Connections, and a number of mostly short-term collaborations. It also includes a number of standalone interviews by Center staff.