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January 22, 1966
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

January 22, 1966

On January 22, 1966, community leader and Cleveland Call and Post reporter Daisy Craggett raised concerns about urban renewal and its impact on the predominantly African-American Hough neighborhood (click to view PDF). “Urban renewal is on the move,” Craggett wrote, and “the citizens of the Hough community are, again, to be the innocent victims...The City of Cleveland’s Urban Renewal Department is again ignoring the rights and responsibilities on the citizens to be in on the initial planning of a program that will drastically determine or change their future.” Craggett worried that the urban renewal plans would create “an area that would cater largely to the absentee owners, business man and the power structure.”  Like many black residents in low income neighborhoods, Craggett wanted to see changes to Hough but wanted citizens to have a voice in shaping a plan. In the midst of the “Hough riots” in July of 1966, Craggett and leaders of Community Action for Youth wrote to Cleveland Mayor Ralph Locher.  “Our neighborhoodHough—is in trouble...Our real troubles go far beyond the troubles of the last few days.”  Craggett described in the inability of poor Hough residents to lead “decent dignified lives, the high levels of unemployment, and the community’s physical deterioration. “As citizens of Cleveland, we ask other Clevelanders to acknowledge that to save Hough is truly to save our entire city.”56

On the history of Cleveland, see Kimberley Phillips’ Alabama North: African-American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915–1945 (1999), David Stradling and Richard Stadling’s Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland (2015), and The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and Cleveland Memory Project websites. On the psychological toll of urban renewal on communities, see Mindy Fullilove’s Root Shock: How Tearing Up City Neighborhoods Hurts America, and What We Can Do about It (2005).