Across the Color Line: Reporting 25 Years in Black Cincinnati presents newspaper reporter Mark Curnutte’s stories published in The Cincinnati Enquirer over a twenty-five-year period beginning in 1993. With hard-won insights gained from years of community reporting, Curnutte describes experiences of African-Americans living in Cincinnati through individual and neighborhood profiles, explorations of community institutions, historical perspectives, and issue stories. The anthology tells a sweeping narrative of a city suffering and maturing through turn-of-the-century racial growing pains and increased racial sophistication and diversity. These stories are complimented by excerpts from Curnutte’s personal journal, providing his reflection on his role as a white man and reporter making the intentional decision to work and live across the color line.
Although it became one of the most successful programs in syndicated television history, WKRP in Cincinnati faced an uphill struggle trying to obtain prime-time success. Kassel chronicles the decisions and problems that affected WKRP's primetime success, and explores the reasons why it went on to become a classic.
In the summer of 1943, as World War II raged overseas, the United States also faced internal strife. Earlier that year, Detroit had erupted in a series of race riots that killed dozens and destroyed entire neighborhoods. Across the country, mayors and city councils sought to defuse racial tensions and promote nonviolent solutions to social and economic injustices. In Cincinnati, the result of those efforts was the Mayor’s Friendly Relations Committee, later renamed the Cincinnati Human Relations Commission (CHRC).
The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission: A History, 1943–2013, is a decade-by-decade chronicle of the agency: its accomplishments, challenges, and failures. The purpose of municipal human relations agencies like the CHRC was to give minority groups access to local government through internal advocacy, education, mediation, and persuasion—in clear contrast to the tactics of lawsuits, sit-ins, boycotts, and marches adopted by many external, nongovernmental organizations.
In compiling this history, Phillip J. Obermiller and Thomas E. Wagner have drawn on an extensive base of archival records, reports, speeches, and media sources. In addition, archival and contemporary interviews provide first-person insight into the events and personalities that shaped the agency and the history of civil rights in this midwestern city.
The University of Cincinnati's most distinguished and respected colleges are busy tearing down walls and breaking out of their "silos;" these colleges "get it"—they understand that students who cross borders, students who work and train cooperatively and collaboratively, learn more and are better prepared for employment after they leave the university.
The goal of this book is to further break higher education out of its silo. It is believed that a university that nurtures symbiotic partnerships between students, faculty, and the greater community in which the university is rooted, is stronger for it.
This book highlights the complex evolution of the University of Cincinnati's Service Learning program, particularly as the program is connected to the historic Cooperative Education movement in Cincinnati (Coop program founded in 1906). This action-oriented book employs narrative inquiry and document interrogation to solicit lived experiences and stories from a variety of both campus and community stakeholders, which were then analyzed through the theory of structuration. Through detailing key watershed moments that have underscored the program’s evolution, the book reveals important additions to theory, which have implications for other service learning programs, for the field of education leadership, and for literature pertaining to campus-community organizing.
Throughout the book, the reader will encounter several types of fresh acts in the narrative, defined as something new being developed that shifts the institutional structure in some way. It is concluded that these fresh acts, continually informed by the underpinnings of Collective Impact, have positive implications for the role that higher education plays toward the community’s greater good. It is hoped that this book will strengthened the existing pool of research focused on the social structuration of campus-community connections in higher education, including how leaders may foster collaborative experiences and broadened subjectivities for all relevant stakeholders.
Margaret Garner was the runaway slave who, when confronted with capture just outside of Cincinnati, slit the throat of her toddler daughter rather than have her face a life in slavery. Her story has inspired Toni Morrison’s Beloved, a film based on the novel starring Oprah Winfrey, and an opera. Yet, her life has defied solid historical treatment. In Driven toward Madness, Nikki M. Taylor brilliantly captures her circumstances and her transformation from a murdering mother to an icon of tragedy and resistance.
Taylor, the first African American woman to write a history of Garner, grounds her approach in black feminist theory. She melds history with trauma studies to account for shortcomings in the written record. In so doing, she rejects distortions and fictionalized images; probes slavery’s legacies of sexual and physical violence and psychic trauma in new ways; and finally fleshes out a figure who had been rendered an apparition.
Nineteenth-century Cincinnati was northern in its geography, southern in its economy and politics, and western in its commercial aspirations. While those identities presented a crossroad of opportunity for native whites and immigrants, African Americans endured economic repression and a denial of civil rights, compounded by extreme and frequent mob violence. No other northern city rivaled Cincinnati's vicious mob spirit.
Frontiers of Freedom follows the black community as it moved from alienation and vulnerability in the 1820s toward collective consciousness and, eventually, political self-respect and self-determination. As author Nikki M. Taylor points out, this was a community that at times supported all-black communities, armed self-defense, and separate, but independent, black schools. Black Cincinnati's strategies to gain equality and citizenship were as dynamic as they were effective. When the black community united in armed defense of its homes and property during an 1841 mob attack, it demonstrated that it was no longer willing to be exiled from the city as it had been in 1829.
Frontiers of Freedom chronicles alternating moments of triumph and tribulation, of pride and pain; but more than anything, it chronicles the resilience of the black community in a particularly difficult urban context at a defining moment in American history.
With roots reaching back to 1819, the University of Cincinnati has long been at the frontier of higher education in the Ohio Valley. While it has aspired to fulfill its mission to serve the public good, some residents, particularly those living near campus, have wondered how university decisions benefited the city at large. Long a municipal university, UC struggled to serve a broad diverse population, even as Cincinnati itself struggled in the late twentieth century. Through it all, the university has maintained its importance to the city and its alumni.
In Service to the City: A History of the University of Cincinnati, the first history of the university written in over fifty years, explores the evolving, complex relationship between UC and the city of Cincinnati. In Service to the City casts an unvarnished lens on the details of student demographics, faculty research, curricular changes, and athletic controversy to challenges associated with campus architecture and planning, neighborhood relations, regional and national consequences of urban decline, and the roles of municipal, state, and federal governments within American higher education.
Urban, environmental historian David Stradling traces UC’s story through starts and stops, growth and contraction. In the 1870s the institution began its transformation into a comprehensive, municipal university located in America’s thriving heartland. Expansion continued through mergers with Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and Cincinnati Medical College, among others. In 1977, University President Warren Bennis and Governor Jim Rhodes signed papers ending UC’s municipal status while securing its future as part of the state university system of Ohio.
UC maintains its strong relationship with Cincinnati, pioneering countless community and regionally oriented programs, from its expanding co-op education system, the first in the nation, to the Niehoff Urban Studio. Stradling describes the social and political activism of UC students and faculty—front and center in the civil rights and women’s rights movements, as well as the public health and environmental movements. Often they struggled to change the culture within their own institution, which at times appeared conservative or reactionary.
Drawing on archival research, Stradling recounts in lively prose and through dozens of illustrations, two-hundred years of UC history, setting the story in the context of changes within higher education in the United States.
With the cost of higher education on the minds of legislators and the public, questions first posed by Daniel Drake in 1819 upon the founding of Cincinnati College remain relevant. Who should the college serve? What and how should students learn? How can we pay for it? In Service to the City encourages readers to consider how the University of Cincinnati—with a history so entwined with its city—can balance its urban-serving tradition with its aspiration to be a leader global research university.
Marian Alexander Spencer was born in 1920 in the Ohio River town of Gallipolis, Ohio, one year after the “Red Summer” of 1919 that saw an upsurge in race riots and lynchings. Following the example of her grandfather, an ex-slave and community leader, Marian joined the NAACP at thirteen and grew up to achieve not only a number of civic leadership firsts in her adopted home city of Cincinnati, but a legacy of lasting civil rights victories.
Of these, the best known is the desegregation of Cincinnati’s Coney Island amusement park. She also fought to desegregate Cincinnati schools and to stop the introduction of observers in black voting precincts in Ohio. Her campaign to raise awareness of industrial toxic-waste practices in minority neighborhoods was later adapted into national Superfund legislation.
In 2012, Marian’s friend and colleague Dot Christenson sat down with her to record her memories. The resulting biography not only gives us the life story of remarkable leader but encapsulates many of the twentieth century’s greatest struggles and advances. Spencer’s story will prove inspirational and instructive to citizens and students alike.
King of the Queen City is the first comprehensive history of King Records, one of the most influential independent record companies in the history of American music. Founded by businessman Sydney Nathan in the mid-1940s, this small outsider record company in Cincinnati, Ohio, attracted a diverse roster of artists, including James Brown, the Stanley Brothers, Grandpa Jones, Redd Foxx, Earl Bostic, Bill Doggett, Ike Turner, Roy Brown, Freddie King, Eddie Vinson, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. While other record companies concentrated on one style of music, King was active in virtually all genres of vernacular American music, from blues and R & B to rockabilly, bluegrass, western swing, and country.
A progressive company in a reactionary time, King was led by an interracial creative and executive staff that redefined the face and voice of American music as well as the way it was recorded and sold. Drawing on personal interviews, research in newspapers and periodicals, and deep access to the King archives, Jon Hartley Fox weaves together the elements of King's success, focusing on the dynamic personalities of the artists, producers, and key executives such as Syd Nathan, Henry Glover, and Ralph Bass. The book also includes a foreword by legendary guitarist, singer, and songwriter Dave Alvin.
The history of Cincinnati runs much deeper than the stories of hogs that once roamed downtown streets. In addition to hosting the nation’s first professional baseball team, the Tall Stacks river boating, and the May Festival, there’s another side to the city—one that includes some of the most famous names and organizations in American letters.
Literary Cincinnatifills in this missing chapter, taking the reader on a joyous ride with some of the great literary personalities who have shaped life in the Queen City. Meet the young Samuel Clemens working in a local print shop, Fanny Trollope struggling to open her bizarre bazaar, Sinclair Lewis researching Babbitt, hairdresser Eliza Potter telling the secrets of her rich clientele, and many more who defined the nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Queen City.
For lovers of literature everywhere—but especially in Cincinnati—this is a literary tour that will entertain, inform, and amuse.
"Provides a rich prism through which to explore the social, economic, and political development
of black Cincinnati. These studies offer insight into both the dynamics of racism and a
community's changing responses to it." -- Peter Rachleff, author of Black Labor in Richmond
The Treatment is the story of one tragedy of medical research that stretched over eleven years and affected the lives of hundreds of people in an Ohio city. Thirty years ago the author, then an assistant professor of English, acquired a large set of little-known medical papers at her university. These documents told a grotesque story. Cancer patients coming to the public hospital on her campus were being swept into secret experiments for the U.S. military; they were being irradiated over their whole bodies as if they were soldiers in nuclear war. Of the ninety women and men exposed to this treatment, twenty-one died within a month of their radiations. Martha Stephens’s report on these deaths led to the halting of the tests, but local papers did not print her charges, and for many years people in Cincinnati had no way of knowing that lethal experiments had taken place there. In 1994 other military tests were brought to light, and a yellowed copy of Stephens’s original report was delivered to a television newsroom. In Ohio, major publicity ensued—at long last—and reached around the world. Stephens uncovered the names of the victims, and a legal action was filed against thirteen researchers and their institutions. A federal judge compared the deeds of the doctors to the medical crimes of the Nazis during World War II and refused to dismiss the researchers from the suit. After many bitter disputes in court, they agreed to settle the case with the families of those they had afflicted. In 1999 a memorial plaque was raised in a yard of the hospital. Who were these doctors and why had they done as they did? Who were the people whose lives they took? Who was the reporter who could not forget the story, the young attorney who first developed the case, the judge who issued the historic ruling against the doctors? This is Stephens’s moving account of all that transpired in these lives and her own during this epic battle between medicine and human rights.
For two spring days in 2001, John Updike visited Cincinnati, Ohio, engaging and charming his audiences, reading from his fiction, fielding questions, sitting for an interview, participating in a panel discussion, and touring the Queen City.
Successful writers typically spend a portion of their lives traveling the country to give readings and lectures. While a significant experience for author and audience alike, this public spectacle, once covered in detailed newspaper accounts, now is barely noticed by the media. Updike in Cincinnati—composed of a wealth of materials, including session transcripts, short stories discussed and read by the author, photographs, and anecdotal observations about Updike's performance and personal interactions--is unique in its comprehensive coverage of a literary visit by a major American author.
Updike's eloquence, intelligence, improvisational skills, and gift for comedy are all on display. With natural grace, he discusses a range of topics, including his novels and short stories, his mother and oldest son as writers, Pete Rose and Shoeless Joe Jackson, the Nobel Prize, his appearance on The Simpsons, the Cold War, and Hamlet.
Augmented with commentary by critics W. H. Pritchard and Donald Greiner, and an introduction and interview by James Schiff, Updike in Cincinnati provides an engaging and detailed portrait of one of America's contemporary literary giants.
Walking the Steps of Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City’s Scenic and Historic Secrets is a revised and updated version of Mary Anna DuSablon’s original guidebook, first published in 1998. This new edition describes and maps thirty-four walks of varying lengths and levels of difficulty around the neighborhoods of Cincinnati, following scenic or historic routes and taking in many of the city’s more than four hundred sets of steps. Some of these walks follow the same routes laid out by DuSablon in the first edition of the guide; others have been revised to reflect changes in the city and its neighborhoods, the physical condition of the steps, and the scenic views of Cincinnati that they afford; and still others are altogether new.
In writing their descriptions of the walks, authors Connie J. Harrell and John Cicmanec have retraced each path and taken all new photographs of the steps as well as architectural and natural landmarks along the way. Cartographer Brian Balsley has drawn a fresh set of maps, and Roxanne Qualls, vice-mayor of Cincinnati, has graciously written a new foreword.
“Business during the Week was very dull. The great Plague of the Year Cholera is driving every Country [person] and Merchants from Surrounding Cities away. The City looks like a desert Compared to its usual animated appearance. Last week ending the 6th there were 78 deaths from it, altogether 173. This week ending yesterday 278 deaths 189 from Cholera. People parting for a day or so, bid farewell to each other. My Partners family are fortunately in the Country. I and Clemens sleep in the Same bed, in Case of a Sudden attack to be within groaning distance. . .”
—Diary entry for Sunday, May 13th, 1849
Joseph J. Mersman was a liquor merchant, a German American immigrant who aspired—with success—to become a self-made man. The diary he kept from 1847 to 1864 provides an intriguing account of life in Cincinnati and St. Louis—America’s emerging frontier.
Outside of Gold Rush diaries and emigration journals, few narrative records of the antebellum period have been published. As a record of both the man and the time in which he lived, The Whiskey Merchant’s Diary is a valuable resource for social historians, providing significant details about bachelorhood, whiskey making, ballroom dancing, circus history, card games, steamboat transportation, gender roles, theater history, and Victorian etiquette. The diary is also the story of a man who confronted serious disease, and his descriptions of cholera and syphilis are exceptional.
Complemented by photographs, maps, and period advertisements, the diary reveals how a German American businessman worked to establish himself in his newly adopted country during an era that was rife with opportunity. Linda A. Fisher’s professional training as a physician makes the public health aspect of this project particularly valuable, and her annotations throughout serve to emphasize the significance of Mersman’s firsthand observations.