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African Americans Of Canton Ohio


From Canton’s earliest days, the black population has contributed to the city’s, and even the nation’s, prominence and prosperity. During World War II, nineteen-year-old Harold White joined the famed Tuskegee Airmen of the Ninety-Ninth Fighter Squadron. Only a few years later, Dorothy White persevered through prejudice to become Canton’s first black teacher, paving the way for a long line of dedicated teachers stretching to the present day. Renowned R&B group the O’Jays formed in Canton, and professional golfer Renee Powell is just one of many local athletes to reach the heights of her profession. Collecting never-before-seen photographs and firsthand accounts from local citizens, Nadine McIlwain and Geraldine Radcliffe reveal the celebrated legends, unsung heroes and historic firsts of African Americans residing in the Canton community.

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About the Authors

Nadine McIlwain is a former Ohio public school educator and has received numerous awards for excellence in the classroom, including the prestigious National Educator Award from the Milken Family Foundation. She has coauthored two biographies, From Ghetto to God: The Incredible Journey of NFL Star Reggie Rucker with Reggie Rucker and My Father’s Child with Fredricka Stewart. Nadine’s tribute to her father, “A Twenty Dollar Education,” was published in Chicken Soup for the African American Woman’s Soul. “He Was Always There,” another memoire about her father, appeared in My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions from Black Daughters to Their Fathers, edited by Melba Beaty.

Gerry Radcliffe has served the Stark County Community as nurse manager, consultant and health educator. Providing health programs to faith-based organizations, she initiated change and influenced others to “Take Control of Their Health.” Gerry was instrumental in receiving a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council to display and preserve photographs depicting the African American history of Canton. The presentation, “Through the Lens of Taylor Matthews: In Search of the African American History of Stark County,” was exhibited from February 1 to May 27, 2001, in the Keller Gallery of the McKinley Museum & National Memorial.

Publisher: ‎ History Press Library Editions (April 15, 2019)

Hardcover: ‎ 226 pages

ISBN: ‎ 978-1540238528

Additional information

Weight 17 oz
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .56 in