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Rev. King addresses civil rights group. Rev. King addresses civil rights group.

Akron's Black History Timeline

1960-1975: Local Responses to National Issues

"It's time mankind, and that includes the handicapped, start taking a long, hard look at itself... ...They will become better citizens. Knowledge is power."   ~ John Robinson, Akron resident, stricken by multiple sclerosis. ~

1960 – Student protest tactics:

  • Sit-ins, selective buying campaigns, voter registration campaigns, freedom rides, marches and filling jails

Efforts to defeat protest tactics:

  • Police dogs, high-powered water hoses, beatings, clubbing and tear gas

Riots replaced peaceful demonstrations:

  • generally spontaneous
  • directed more toward property damage – looting and burning

Concept of Black Power emerged – heritage, pride and unification for a common purpose
1966 – On-the-Job Training (O.J.T.) Program instituted 

1968 – Six days of civil disorder erupts in Akron:

  • National Guard Troops called in
  • State of emergency declared
  • Curfew imposed

NAACP focused on police brutality, segregation and discrimination in employment and housing

Two organizations designed to uplift the poor were Community Action Council and Model Cities

Vern Odom voted "Social Worker of the Year"
1969 – Labor Education Advancement Program in operation
United Neighborhood Council Economic Development Program (EDP) implemented

Mayor John S. Ballard issued proclamation declaring 5 Mar 1970 as "Crispus Attucks Day"
1970 – Economic Development Corporation became operational
1971 – Groundbreaking for construction of Channelwood Village
Three streets were named in honor of three members of Eta Tau Lamda, of Alpha Phi Alpha

  • Tate Terrance – for Bruce Tate Sr.
  • Dunbar Drive – for Dr. John W. Dunbar
  • Fleming Drive – for Atty. Artee Fleming

Miss Black Akron Pageant started:

Winners –

  • 1971: Rose Ann Woods
  • 1972: Henrietta McDay
  • 1973: Delma Lucas
  • 1974: Gina Maddox

1960-1975 – Fields of Specialization

  • Edward Davis – councilman
  • Opie Evans – executive director of Akron’s Civic Unity Council
  • Atty. Arthur Snell – assistant police prosecutor – first assistant to County Prosecutor James Barbuto
  • Robert Brown – appointed coordinator of the city’s Urban Renewal Department
  • Atty. William E. Fowler, Jr. – named to Board of Appeals and Review of U.S. Civil Service Commission
  • Atty. W. Howard Fort – first black appointed to serve as trustee of University of Akron
  • Atty. Joseph D. Roulhac – first Negro appointed to Akron Municipal Court bench
  • Frank Lomax III – director, City Demonstration Agency (C.D.A.)
  • Atty. James R. Williams – elected second Negro Councilman
  • Edward V. Brown – director of Human Relations Commission for the City of Akron
  • William M. Threatt, Jr. – administrator in Akron’s Department of Planning and Urban Renewal
  • William Ellison – president of the Akron chapter of the Black Law Enforcement Officers Association
  • Thaddeus Garrett – special Assistant for Urban Affairs under Vice President Nelson Rockefeller

1960-1975 – Blacks in business and industry

  • William McMillan – industrial design
  • Walter Head – U of A’s first black graduate in mechanical engineering
  • George W. Mathews – businessman – became one of Akron’s wealthiest Negroes
  • Horace St. John Stewart – civic activities led to naming of Horace St. John Stewart Primary School
  • Momconbeac, Inc., - first successful black-owned, black managed retail store

1960-1975 – Black educators

Martin Chapman:

  • Assistant principal at Thornton Junior High, Crouse and Margaret Park
  • First black junior high school principal at Goodyear Junior High
  • First black senior high school principal at Garfield High School
  • Received Distinguished Citizen’s Award
  • Awarded Freedom Foundation Award
  • Presented with University of Akron’s Alumni Honor Award

Ambrose Brazelton - "Braz":

  • Physical education teacher
  • Won Freedom Foundation Award
  • Supervisor of elementary physical education at Ohio State Department of Education
  • Appointed to direct the Model Cities Technical Assistance Office

Abbie Willacy - Principal at Crosby School and Barber Elementary School

Dr. Willa Player:
President of Bennett College, named director of Division of College Support in U.S. Office of Education

Dr. Oscar Richie - Served on the faculty of Kent State University

Edith Richie – taught at elementary, junior high and senior high school levels in Akron Public Schools

Spurgeon Moore – music teacher, bandleader and assistant principal at North High School

George C. Miller:
Teacher, counselor, director of South High School’s Skills Center and director of Supplemental Services – Akron Public Schools

Norma Marcere – counselor and school psychologist

Andrew Bradley McClain:

  • Worked at Akron Public Schools Hilltop House
  • Director of Upward Bound program at Western Reserve Academy
  • Remedial reading teacher at Lincoln School

1960-1975 – Black athletes

  • Alex Adams – basketball and track
  • Don Clark – football
  • Bobby Nash – baseball
  • Dr. Lu Wims – football, basketball and track
  • Elmore Banton – track
  • Tommy Dingle – football
  • Martin Chapman – football
  • Harry Simpson – baseball
  • Ronald Delaney – boxing
  • Gus Johnson – basketball
  • Les Carney – track

1960-1975 – Blacks in medicine

  • Dr. Luther Robinson – first black doctor to complete residency in pediatrics at Akron Children’s Hospital
  • Dr. Russell Platt – first black doctor to complete residency in internal medicine at Akron City Hospital
  • Dr. Haynes B. Robinson – pediatric pathologist
  • Dr. Hayes Davis – nephrology (science that deals with the kidneys, especially their functions or diseases)
  • Dr. Wilfred B. Bozeman – chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Akron General Medical Center
  • Dr. John Poulson – chief of staff at St. Thomas Hospital
  • Dr. E. Gates Morgan – general surgeon – first black treasurer in the Summit County Medical Society

1960-1975 – Black in the Arts

  • Poets – Jerry Herbert, Lloyd P. Terrell, Thomas M. Sistrunk, Linda Brown Bragg
  • Artists – Edith Player Brown
  • Musicians – Len Chandler, Kermit Moore, Bettye R. Palms

1960-1975 – Black humanitarians

  • London Stone, Cleathus Johnson, John Robinson, Opie Evans, Dorothy O. Jackson, Pauline R. Kirk, Emma Jean Stewart, Ida Talley 

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