WYSO

Black History

Elizabeth Early-Gainous, president of the nonprofit Early Visions, outside the site of the first African American YWCA in the U.S. on South Paul Laurence Dunbar Street. Early-Gainous was a member of the West Dayton YWCA as a child.
Leila Goldstein / WYSO

The National Park Service has awarded the Dayton nonprofit Early Visions $500,000 to preserve the site of the country’s first African American YWCA. The branch originally formed in 1889 and moved into a West Dayton house on South Paul Laurence Dunbar Street, what was then Summit Street, in the early 1940s. While the branch closed in the 1970s, one childhood member has had a lifelong vision of reopening the center as a community resource for women and girls in West Dayton. 

Asia Rose Gibbs, one of the organizers of the event, led a healing circle at the Juneteenth celebration at Dayton View Park on Saturday.
Leila Goldstein / WYSO

The Wesley Community Center’s annual Juneteenth festival in Dayton was cancelled this year due to COVID-19. But following the killing of George Floyd and nationwide protests against police violence toward Black people, several community leaders saw a necessity in holding the yearly celebration to commemorate the end of slavery. 

Juneteenth Flag
wikimedia commons

Communities across the country are celebrating Juneteenth today. Several events are planned throughout the Dayton area this weekend.

Donald Domineck, chairman of the Dayton chapter of the New Black Panther Party, is one of the organizers of a festival in Dayton View Park this Saturday from 1p.m. to 6 p.m. He said the holiday is originally about a lack of information, and that theme is especially important this year.

This spring 2018, the Quaker Heritage Center is facilitating a series of talks and musical performances that highlight the power of solidarity and resistance among African-Americans, Abolitionists, and Quakers. At the same time, these programs will addres
Photo provided by Wilmington College

Education is obviously the main focus of any educational institution's mission, and Wilmington College's upcoming speaker series will not only educate but tie historical perspectives to current events.

 

To find out more about the series, we spoke with Tanya Maus, director of the Peace Resource Center and Quaker Heritage Center at Wilmington, and Ursula McTaggart, an associate professor of English there.

 

Longtown's restoration is underway.
Jerry Kenney

In southwest Ohio, about a mile from the Indiana state line, a long-forgotten town with a special place in African American history is struggling to be reborn.

Longtown was established nearly 200 years ago in what is now Greenville. The settlement grew into a thriving mixed-race community and a major stop on the Underground Railroad.

Now, descendants of those pioneering settlers are working to bring Longtown back to life for others to experience.

Longtown’s History

One chapter in my most recent book, African Immersion: American College Students in Cameroon (Lexington Books, 2015) looks at racial interactions in Cameroon: African American-Caucasian, African-Caucasian, and African American-African. The research finds gross ignorance in public discourse on race relations. But academic institutions neither mandate students to take courses about America’s racial past nor create other avenues for a critical examination of racism in the U.S.

Remembering Selma, Honoring Black History Year-Round

Feb 15, 2015
Kimberly Barrett is Wright State University’s Vice President For Multicultural Affairs and Community Engagement.
Lewis Wallace / WYSO

Black History Month has always created a bit of a quandary for me. I hope that one day stories of the contributions of Americans of African descent are so woven into the intergenerational narrative we share in the United States that there will be no need for it. However, this year the celebration of Black History Month is especially momentous. It coincides with the 50th anniversary of events leading to a pivotal moment in the evolution of our nation’s democracy, the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

After 150 Years, Black Struggles Echo An Earlier Voice

Feb 9, 2015
Henry Highland Garnet, abolitionist pastor and advocate, spoke on the U.S. capitol in February, 1865.
Wikimedia Commons

A hundred and fifty years ago this week, Reverend Henry Highland Garnet became the first Black man to present from the speaker’s platform in the U.S. capital. He preached to commemorate the January 31st passage by Congress of the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. In the sermon, Garnet compared Christians who supported slavery to the biblical Pharisees who observed many rituals, but whose cruelty  demonstrated that they did not have a true love for their fellow men in their hearts.

At the end of this week, a Smithsonian exhibition celebrating two landmark bookends of the civil rights movement heads out of Louisville, Ohio, a small town in Stark County that has had a history of racial problems

As Black History month comes to a close, a new book about a 19th century African-American Daniel Rudd - a former slave who lived in Springfield, Ohio and helped change the face of the Catholic church. 

"A Cry for Justice," follows the life of Daniel Rudd a young slave from Bardstown, Kentucky. He was freed after the Civil War and traveled to Springfield to work at a newspaper. His beliefs also led him to challenge the Catholic Church to deliver equality and justice for black people.