Heights Civil Rights History Bicycle Tour Aug. 28

Heights residents are invited to join the Cleveland Heights Civil Rights History Bicycle Tour, departing from the Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch (at the corner of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard) at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28—the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The tour is sponsored by the Heights Bicycle Coalition.

The tour will celebrate this significant anniversary by honoring five Cleveland Heights citizen-led groups that brought the struggle for full citizenship to their own community by challenging housing segregation and discrimination. The three-mile tour will stop at sites significant to the groups that formed between 1964 and 1973 to work for social justice. 

The citizen groups were African-American, integrated and white, and played different roles at different times to make the community better. They addressed real estate and lending practices, city and school district policies, and community attitudes in order to transform a nearly all-white segregated city into a welcoming and diverse community that embraces diversity as one of its greatest assets.

Susie Kaeser is leading the tour which draws from news coverage, organizational materials, and interviews with more than 20 of the people who shaped the community during this era.

Kaeser said, "This research put me in touch with the courage and determination of thoughtful people who spoke out and reached out to make a real difference. It was their activism more than anything else that created positive change and advanced civil rights in our community. Their efforts remind me of historian Taylor Branch's observation about the civil rights movement, 'the King years should serve as a bracing reminder that citizens and leaders can work miracles together despite every hardship, against great odds.'"

Betty Nelson and Doris Allen, leaders from The Committee to Improve Community Relations, will speak at one of the stops.

All participants are invited to the BottleHouse Brewery for conversation after the bike tour.

Joy Henderson

Joy Henderson collaborated on this piece with Susie Kaeser, and the two have worked together on many projects. This event combines several of their interests into one.

Read More on Heights History
Volume 6, Issue 9, Posted 9:03 AM, 08.27.2013