Race, Recreation and Rebellion: Public Parks, Policing and Black Youth in Cleveland, Ohio, 1932-2020


ACLS Fellowship Program


Labor and Employment Relations


Despite considerable research on the Civil Rights campaigns aimed at desegregating Midwest recreation spaces, we have yet to fully examine the toll urban renewal and declining tax bases took in the following decades. My book uncovers the processes of criminalizing Black youth in public spaces and documents grassroots community responses, such as efforts to provide meaningful Black youth recreation and dismantle racist policing practices. It also attests to Cleveland’s importance as a site for Black Power activism. A city which underwent the largest urban renewal program in the nation and experienced devastating industrial job losses, a study of Cleveland helps us better understand the impact of urban decline on Black communities and how they organized for their right to the city.