A Rich History; Black Columbus

Explore and Experience Black Culture throughout the State of Ohio. OhioBlack.com is your online source of relevant
content including social topics, events, entertainment and jobs for the Black community throughout Ohio.

African Americans have been important figures in Ohio and US history and are responsible for many things which we consider American Culture. The birthplace and home to many famous political, academic, athletic and entertainment figures, Ohio and it’s black community continues to have significant impact on not only the state, but the entire nation.

Ohio Black was launched in 2023 to educate, inspire and continue to build upon this rich history and impact by providing a resource the Black Community can use to stay connected and promote events, opportunities and topics of general interest that are important to African Americans across the entire state.

A Timeline of Black History in Ohio


Soujourner Truth gave her famous,
Aint I a Woman? speech at the Womens Convention in Akron.


Wilberforce University, the countrys oldest, private black university was founded.


African American men in Cincinnati were impressed to build fortifications to defend the city from Confederate attack. They were designated the Black Brigade.


The first regiment of African American recruits from Ohio reported for Civil War service in Delaware, Ohio. They were the 127th Ohio Volunteer Infantry; renamed the 5th United States Colored Troops.


George Washington Williams was the first African American to serve in the Ohio House of Representatives.


George Myers purchased the barbershop in the Hollenden House, Clevelands finest hotel, and it became a hot spot for Republican Party operatives.


Paul Laurence Dunbar, renknowned poet from Dayton, published his first collection of poetry, Oak and Ivy.


Charles Young from Ripley and Wilberforce commanded the 10th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers in Cuba during the Spanish American War.


Garrett Morgan from Cleveland patented the safety hood, an early version of the gas mask.


Garrett Morgan from Cleveland patented the three-way traffic symbol.


The Ohio Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was chartered in Columbus.


The Tuskegee Airmen 477th Composite Group was transferred to Lockbourne Army Air Base in Columbus.


Central State became a separate institution from Wilberforce University. In 1965 it attained the status of a university.


Martin Luther King gave the commencement address at Central State University.


Carl B. Stokes became the first African American elected mayor of a major American city when he was elected mayor of Cleveland.


Ellen Walker Craig became the first African American woman elected to the office of mayor when she became mayor of Urbancrest.


National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center opened in Wilberforce.


Toni Morrison from Lorain won the Pulitzer Prize in fiction for her fifth novel Beloved.


Halle Berry, from Cleveland, was the first African American woman to win Best Actress for Monsters Ball.


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center opened in Cincinnati.

Famous Black Artists and Entertainers from Ohio

Nancy Wilson

3x Grammy Award Winning Jazz Musician

Isley Brothers

2x Grammy Award Winning R&B Musicians

Bootsy Collins

Singer-Songwriter & Funk Musician

John Legend

12x Grammy Award Winning R&B Musician

Midnight Star

Billboard Funk & Soul Group


Platinum Plaque Funk & Soul Band

Mel Carter

Gold Plaque Winning Singer and Actor


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