Emily Peck, retired school principal, born and raised in Memphis, came to Cleveland in 1950. She relates her experiences as an African-American woman living in Cleveland in the 1950's. Race relations in the 1950's were not overtly troubled, but Peck describes the rise of resentment as African-Americans attempted to move into immigrant neighborhoods. Peck notes lack of opportunity for African-Americans, the emphasis on education amongst middle-class blacks, and their perseverance to create and sustain businesses. Peck was able to attend local colleges and universities as an adult. The quality of that education enabled her to obtain work in the public schools as teacher and administrator. As a resident of Glenville, Peck describes the racial tension and riots of the late 1960's in her area, the resistance to school integration, and the relocation of many educated blacks to the inner-ring suburbs. She hopes the city will realize the importance of vital neighborhoods, avoid freeway construction in neighborhoods, and support local talent and entrepreneurs.


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Peck, Emily (interviewee)


Urban, David (interviewer)


University Circle



Document Type

Oral History


62 minutes

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
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