African-American Civil Rights Trail

Walk in the footsteps of Cleveland’s African American civil rights activists and follow their fight for legislative and social progress.

Explore the Trail

From historic Cory United Methodist Church to the Pegg House and Ludlow Community Association, through the Hough Neighborhood and historic stops in-between, you’ll follow a trail that features iconic destinations, each steeped in the history of Cleveland’s civil rights movement, commemorating the struggle and fight for equality.

History Was
Made
Here

We invite you to walk the path to equality and learn the history that was made across Cleveland during the 1950s, 60s and 70s—history that’s still being made today. Stand at pivotal sites, hear the stories that influenced change, and immerse yourself in the powerful story of our city’s courageous contributions to sweeping legislative and social progress.

STEP BACK IN TIME

Each stop on Cleveland’s African American Civil Rights Trail tells its own story—one that’s part of a greater history. We invite you to step back in time, one stop at a time, to learn more about the struggles, triumphs, leaders, and sites that all played a role in creating a more equitable future for African Americans in Cleveland—and across the country.

New Trail Markers Coming soon

Announcements

Managed by the Cleveland Restoration Society, the African American Civil Rights Trail is constantly growing to offer a more complete historical account of the movement. Check back here for new announcements regarding the trail and efforts to improve it.

Cleveland Jewish Center. Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Special Collections.

October 20, 2022

Ludlow Marker

Members are invited to the unveiling of a historical marker for the Ludlow Community Association on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 4 p.m., at the intersection of Hampton and Corby Roads in Cleveland. The event will feature a historian, public dignitaries, as well as current and past officers of the Ludlow Community Association. It will take place rain or shine. Free on-street parking in the neighborhood will be available. 

Learn more 

February 27, 2022

3 New Sites Officially Added

Pegg House and Ludlow Community Association – This organization set a national example as a neighborhood development model that was created to counteract prevailing prejudice against black buyers in White neighborhoods. Coming Soon.

Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church – During the heyday of the civil rights movement, this church served as the headquarters of the United Freedom Movement. Learn More

Olivet Institutional Baptist Church – As one of the largest African American churches in Ohio, the Olivet Institutional Baptist Church was a civil rights hub under the leadership of Rev. Odie M. Hoover. Learn More

Meet
Our
Supporters

We are honored to acknowledge the following sponsors and grantors who embrace our mission of historic preservation.

This material was produced with assistance from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.

This website is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This project has been funded in part by a grant from the Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Additional support is provided by a generous anonymous donor, and Maxine Isaacs, daughter of Bernard Isaacs, co-founder of the Ludlow Community Association.

REDISCOVER CLEVELAND

Whether Cleveland is your home or you’re visiting our great city, we urge everyone to rediscover the heart, soul and tenacity that lives in its history. Visit any of these sites to gain new perspective and a new appreciation for the history behind Cleveland as it is today.