African Americans In YS Section

  • MLK Day event at Antioch College­— Panel looks at racism, inequality

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    Columbus resident Kwensi Kambon urged attendees at a Martin Luther King Jr. Day panel session this week at Antioch College to “deputize themselves” and fight against racial inequality and discrimination.

  • MLK Jr. day in Yellow Springs

    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers the 1965 commencement address at Antioch College. (Photo courtesy of Antiochiana/Antioch College Archives)

    In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday today, Monday, Jan. 20, village offices, schools and the News will be closed.

  • Filmmaker presents rare 1970 King film

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    A rare 1970 film “King: A Filmed Record” that uses archival news footage will be shown locally as part of MLK Day events.

  • Being black in Yellow Springs

    Young people who grew up in Yellow Springs during the 1960s were in a “racial, social and economic bubble” where kids had little awareness of race, class or economic level, according to Yellow Springs natives who will speak soon on the topic, “Being Black in Yellow Springs: The Sixties Experience.”

  • Elders recall a more diverse era

    A panel of native Yellow Springers will discuss the significant role African Americans have played in the making of Yellow Springs and other issues at a free forum on Monday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Antioch University Midwest. From left are panelists Betty Ford, Sharon Perry, David Perry, Kingsley Perry Jr., and Isabel Newman. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

    The complicated history of race relations in town and the significant role African Americans have played in the making of Yellow Springs will be addressed at a forum on Monday, Oct. 29, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Antioch University Midwest.

  • Bender honored for WWII service

    Villager Jonas Bender will be honored soon for his World War II military service, when he was part of the first group of African Americans to join the Marines. Called the Montford Point Marines, the group was subjected to racism and segregation while in the military. The group will receive the Congressional Gold Medal this spring for its contributions to the war effort. (Photo by Diane Chiddister)

    As a boy growing up in Mississippi, Jonas Bender knew about racism and segregation. But living in “the oasis of integration” that was the college town of Tougaloo, Bender knew about racism mainly from other people’s stories.

  • A civil rights milestone, 50 years on

    Hundreds of local and area students, residents and law enforcement officials jammed downtown Yellow Springs on Xenia Avenue during a chaotic March 1964 demonstration against Lewis Gegner for refusing to cut the hair of black people at his barbershop. Fifty years ago this month, African-American resident Paul Graham began a legal case against Gegner that reached the Ohio Supreme Court. (Photo courtesy of Scott Sanders, Antiochiana)

    Fifty years ago this month, African-American villager Paul Graham walked into Lewis Gegner’s barbershop on Xenia Avenue, sat down in his barber chair and asked for a haircut. “I can’t cut your hair,” the white barbershop owner replied, according to Graham’s account. “I don’t know how. That’s all there is to it.” That day Graham […]

  • Gegner legacy strong after 50 years

    Paul Graham with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission incident report. (Photo by Megan Bachman)

    Fifty years ago this month, African-American villager Paul Graham was refused a haircut at Louis Gegner’s barbershop on Xenia Avenue, sparking a historic legal case at the height of the U.S. civil rights movement. Today, villagers look back on the Gegner incident.

  • 2010 Census redux— Stats confirm diversity drop

    Yellow Springs has become a much less racially-diverse community with 40 percent fewer people of color than in 1970, according to the latest 2010 U.S. Census data released.

  • Let freedom ring

    The reverend himself joins the citizens of Yellow Springs during the MLK Day march (photo by Aaron Zaremsky)

    The streets of Yellow Springs echoed with the sounds of the civil rights movement Monday morning. Admirers of Martin Luther King Jr. chanted “We Shall Overcome” as they marched through the streets; a jovial tribute to one of the most iconic and important figures in American history. Upon the crowd’s arrival at the Central Chapel […]

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