City Of Akron Celebrates Black History Month With New Banners
Akron, Ohio, February 11, 2022 — This week, the City of Akron installed banners lining High St. in downtown Akron to commemorate and celebrate Black History Month.
The banners feature Black trailblazers from Akron’s past and present who have inspired our community, progressed our City, and made history in Akron and beyond. Those featured come from a myriad of backgrounds, but all are connected to Akron and have shifted the paradigm of their respective fields. These Akronites include:
Aimee Wade - 1st Black Female Executive Director of the ADM Board of Summit County
Charles Gladman - 1st Black Chief of the Akron Fire Department
Christine Fowler-Mack - 1st Black Female Superintendent of Akron Public Schools
Dorothy Jackson - 1st Black Woman Appointed to Mayor’s Cabinet as Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs
Ed Davis - 1st Black President of Akron City Council
Edward Irvine - 1st Black Chief of the Akron Police Department
Emilia Sykes - Minority Leader of the Ohio House of Representatives
Fritz Pollard - 1st Black Quarterback & Coach in Pro Football
Gus Johnson - 1st Black Professional Basketball Player from Akron
Harold Stubbs - 1st Black Law Director in the City of Akron
Helen Arnold - 1st Black Woman Elected to the Akron Board of Education
James Williams - 1st Black Akron resident appointed to U.S. Attorney General of NE Ohio
Bishop Joey Johnson - Senior Pastor, Chair of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Task Force
Joseph Rouhlac - 1st Black Judge Elected in the City of Akron
LeBron James - 4x NBA Champion, philanthropist, and hometown hero
Marco Sommerville – Former Akron City Council President, Deputy Mayor for Intergovernmental Affairs, and 1st Black member of Summit County Board of Elections
Margo Sommerville - 1st Black Woman Elected President of Akron City Council
Marian Hall - Founder of the Summit County Committee for Adequate Welfare
Martin Chapman -1st Black Administrator of Akron Public Schools
Rev. Raymond Burgess - 1st Black Member of Summit County Council
Ray Dove - 1st Black Chemist to Work in the Akron Tire Industry
Rita Dove - 1987 Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet and 1st Black Poet Laureate of the U.S.
Sylvester Small - 1st Black Superintendent of Akron Public Schools
Tamiyka Rose -1st Health Equity Ambassador for the City of Akron & 1st Black Deputy Chief of Staff
“This month, and throughout the entire year, it is important to take stock of the remarkable achievements of these featured individuals, and the tremendous contributions the Black community has made here in Akron,” said Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “It is vital that we continue to work each day to ensure we create more opportunity, equity, and hope throughout the City to light the way for the next generation of trailblazers.”
In addition to the banners, the City of Akron is featuring interviews with Black Community Leaders about their current role in creating a more equitable City, as well as their vision for the future. This content can be found on the City’s social media pages throughout the month. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter.
The City is also celebrating our Black owned businesses this month with the Akronite app. Over 60 Black owned businesses are now on the app and for the month of February users can earn an additional 10% back in Blimps when shopping at these businesses. The app is free to download on Apple and Android devices.