Here at the library we often get interesting questions from patrons, and recently we had a question about whether or not the library itself was ever segregated by race. This is a truly excellent question, and the answer lies in the fact that Cleveland Heights itself was once a very segregated community via housing inequalities. Since our community read of “Evicted” which is winding up this month focuses on this very topic, I thought now might be a good time to share some resources that I came across while researching this question:
- The Integration of Cleveland Heights – A YouTube presentation by J. Mark Souther, Ph.D. and Susan Kaiser that was originally taped on October 21, 2014. These two lectures present fascinating information on the history of Cleveland Heights and how integration occurred in the city as well as general changes over time.
- Articles from Ohio Memory that we have uploaded that mention keywords such as “integration.” A lot of these articles highlight critical issues such as housing discrimination and segregation in the school system, and what it took to overcome those challenges.
We are reaching out to our community to ask if anyone remembers this time period and can shed new light on this situation and this question. Please comment on the article if you have anything to add to this discussion.
Heights Community Congress is also hosting an event on this ongoing issue tomorrow night, Thursday March 8 at 7 pm at the Lee Road Library called One Community Reads: Fair Housing in Cuyahoga County. There are also still tickets to hear Matthew Desmond talk about his book “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” on March 15 at 7 pm at the Keybank State Theater. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library will also be streaming the event at our Lee Road location if you can’t make it to the event itself.