|Felix Hoover as host, and panel members Bea Murphy, Earl Potts and Clenzo Fox discuss early African-Americans accomplishments on the Westside.|
On Nov. 13, the Hilltop Historical Society (HHS) celebrated the history of influential African-Americans on the Westside at the Crossroads United Methodist Church, 1100 S. Hague Ave.
Three main presenters and long-time Westside residents included, attorneys Clenzo B. Fox and Earl Potts, and historian and poet, Bea Murphy.
“We were looking to conduct this type of event during Black History Month in February, but due to the busyness of that month, we decided now would be a good time, HHS President Stanton Pryor said.
Murphy talked about Franklinton, central Ohios oldest community, and Arthur Boke.
“Arthur Boke was born to a slave woman owned by Lucas Sullivant, a deputy surveyor and the founder of Franklinton Village, Murphy said.
Memories of segregated neighborhoods and refusal to be given loans for housing were discussed by the presenters.
Highlights and references were made regarding conversations surrounding well-known previous Westside residents such as Olympic star Jesse Owens, and jazz singer Nancy Wilson with brief acknowledgment to basketball player Michael Redd.
The event concluded with a panel discussion where audience members asked questions and shared opinions on the development and history of the Westside.
Reita Smith, a long-time community resident and member from Second Community Church, gave a personal testimony of how the Westside community inspired her and the work she does.
Potts said,After the second World War, things got better for African-Americans on the Westside and today we are still a proud people.
The HHS was founded in 1986 to preserve and promote the history, tradition and culture of the Hilltop. For information, contact 276-8045.