Hear the Voices of the 1970s Fair Housing Fight in Cleveland Heights

Mon 6/18 @ 7-8:30PM

 The ’60s and ’70s were difficult years in urban areas when, following the awakening of the Civil Rights Movement, African-Americans asserted themselves to move out of ghettoes into white residential neighborhoods and inner-ring suburbs, and white residents fled further out, aided and abetted by blockbusting by real estate firms and redlining by banks, re-segregating neighborhoods rapidly.

While black people fought for the right to live where they wanted, others fought, not to keep them out, but to keep neighborhoods diverse and integrated.

Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights were among the most successful communities in pushing back against “white flight” and remain largely integrated today. One of the victories won by Cleveland Heights was the Heights Community Congress v. Hilltop Realty case, filed in 1972, which found the realty company guilty of blockbusting — of steering homebuyers based on race and encouraging white homeowners to sell by stoking their fears of neighborhood change.

Want to learn more about the case and its impact, and how citizens fought back against fear-driven racial change? Come to Voices of the Heights: A conversation with lawyer/activist Suzanne Nigro, civil rights attorney Avery Friedman and Kathryn Eloff, who was one of the attorneys on the case, taking place at the Noble Road Presbyterian Church. They’ll be interviewed by a Cleveland Heights High School student and share their memories.

It’s part of a video project of the Heights Community Congress to document the case and those involved. The program will be videotaped. It’s free and open to the public. Registration is encouraged but not required.


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