Walnut Hills and the Great Migration (November, 2020)

At our November, 2020, virtual meeting, Geoff Sutton presented research on how Cincinnati and Walnut Hills responded to the Great Migration. This research grew out of his work with 4th graders at Frederick Douglass School and Spencer Center. Using paintings by Jacob Lawrence, Geoff identified the institutions, community work and attitudes that made our neighborhood[…]

DeHart Hubbard and Baseball in Cincinnati

Click here to see more information about Black Baseball in Walnut Hills William DeHart Hubbard was born in Walnut Hills in 1903, named after the well-respected principal A. J. DeHart at the segregated Frederick Douglass School in the neighborhood. Hubbard went on to the original Walnut Hills High School at Ashland and Burdette, just three[…]

Andrew J. DeHart: Education and Sports at Frederick Douglass School

Click here to see more information about Black Baseball in Walnut Hills Andrew J. DeHart was born in Mississippi in 1855. His early biography is obscure, but by in 1870 he was in Cincinnati, enrolled in the new segregated Gaines Colored High School in the West end. DeHart earned a place on the list of[…]

A brief history of the Frederick Douglass School buildings

1855: Dangerfield Earley’s School Before the Civil War many African Americans settled in Cincinnati. The city had a separate system of Colored Public Schools for their children. The suburb of Walnut Hills also had a private African American school run by Dangerfield Earley, minister of the First Church founded in 1856. The Rev. Earley held[…]

Ida Mae Rhodes

Ida Mae Rhodes was born in 1899 and lived until 2000 – 101 years. She went to the University of Cincinnati; most records show her graduating in 1919. Yet the university bulletin for 1919-1920 shows her as a junior, and in 1920 she became the president of the first African American sorority on the campus.[…]

Donald Spencer, Douglass School teacher

Donald Spencer was born in Cincinnati in 1915. He went to public schools and graduated from Walnut Hills High School in 1932. At Walnut Hills, Donald worked to ensure that African-American students could attend the Junior-Senior Prom. He then went to the University of Cincinnati where he first graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1936,[…]

The Great Migration

In the nineteenth century, both before and after the Civil War, most African Americans lived in the rural South. Cincinnati had a relatively high African American population for a Northern city at about 5% in the early twentieth century, and the population grew by nearly a third in the first decade of that century to[…]

Frederick Douglass Elementary School 2008

In 2008 Cincinnati Public Schools built the fifth Frederick Douglass School. The facility is a better fit for younger students than the 1980 structure. With classrooms clustered around open spaces, it allows more modern teaching methods. The “Panther Pride” at the school continues the tradition of educational excellence for students in the largely African American[…]

Frederick Douglass School 1980

In the late 1950’s through the 80’s, Cincinnati Public Schools tried to racially integrate its facilities. With many other public schools in Walnut Hills, the 1911 building seemed too big. The district constructed a new Frederick Douglass School on the old playground. The city hoped there would no longer be a need for segregated services.[…]