Remembering Small Moments and Sweet Faces: African-American Children in Ohio Memory

Ella P. Stewart Elementary School schoolchildren and teacher, ca. early 1960s. Courtesy Toledo Lucas County Public Library via Ohio Memory.
Unidentified African American girl playing on a tire swing, ca. 1980. From the Herral Long Collection. Courtesy Toledo Lucas County Public Library via Ohio Memory.
Two unidentified African American children, possibly siblings, ca. 1890, by Toledo photographers McKecknie and Oswald in their N. St. Clair studio. Courtesy Toledo Lucas County Public Library via Ohio Memory.

If you’re a regular reader of the Ohio Memory blog, you’ll know that we strive to discuss a mix of topics, not just famous Ohioans or well-known historical events. After all, the history of Ohio is made up of large and small moments and of millions of people, living their lives, often in obscurity. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important, however; we just don’t always get a chance to meet them.

Today is the last Friday of Black History Month and, before the month closes out, we’d like you to meet some people you probably don’t know: the Black children whose photos we’re honored to present via Ohio Memory. Many of the images you’ll see depict children who are unidentified, but that shouldn’t stop us from seeing them as integral parts of the story of Ohio. They, like all of us, contributed to their communities; they learned, they worked, they married and raised families. They lived here (some still might!) and left their marks. Now, we at Ohio Memory have the pleasure and honor of preserving small moments in their lives and sharing the memories of those moments with you.

This week’s blog post is brief, yes, but it carries a great deal of appreciation and gratitude for these children. We hope you’ll enjoy seeing their faces and experiencing their charm. And, please, if you recognize any of these Ohioans, let us know so we can put a name to a face.

Thank you to Shannon Kupfer-Trausch, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the State Library of Ohio, for this week’s post!

6 year-old Corey Allen as he plays in a flooded basketball court in City Park in Toledo, 1988. From the Herral Long Collection. Courtesy Toledo Public Library via Ohio Memory.

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