Webinar & Write-Up

Civil Rights History in Cleveland goes way back

On February 21, 2023, the Cleveland Restoration Society hosted a webinar on Cleveland’s civil rights history. Nishani Frazier, an Associate Professor of History and American Studies at the University of Kansas, appeared as the national scholar to discuss the long arch of political activism among Black Clevelanders from around the city’s founding to the modern civil rights era, and document how this rich history relates to the present day.

In addition to the webinar, Frazier also wrote an overarching narrative about Black Clevelanders’ political activism from the early 1800s to the present day. Below is a three-part writeup of Cleveland civil rights history followed by a recording of the webinar.

PART I: Cleveland’s Role in Black Resistance and Civil Rights

PART II: Cleveland Civil Rights, 1950s-1964

PART III: Cleveland Civil Rights Movement and Black Power

Nishani Frazier is Associate Professor of American Studies and History at University of Kansas. Prior to University of Kansas, she held positions as Associate Curator of African American History and Archives at Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), Assistant to the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Archives at the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, and personal assistant for Dr. John Hope Franklin, before and during his tenure as chair of President Bill Clinton’s advisory board on “One America.”

Her research interests include 1960s freedom movements, oral history, food, digital humanities, and black economic development. Nishani’s recent book publication, Harambee City: The Congress of Racial Equality in Cleveland and the Rise of Black Power Populism, was released with an accompanying website also titled Harambee City.