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Charles F. Casey-Leninger

first black mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, was born in Maysville, Kentucky, to a white farmer whom he never knew and Cora Berry. When he was a toddler, Berry's mother brought him to Cincinnati, where they settled in the emerging African American community in the city's West End. Severely hearing impaired and with difficulty speaking, his mother earned little as a domestic, and Berry's sister Anna, fifteen years his senior, eventually assembled the family in her own household.

Berry attended the segregated Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School and graduated from the racially mixed Woodward High School in 1924 as valedictorian, the first black student in Cincinnati to achieve that honor in an integrated high school. Berry received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1928 and his juris doctorate from the UC College of Law in 1931 He worked his way through school by selling ...

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Francesco L. Nepa

Pelham, Benjamin B. (1862–07 October 1948), newspaper publisher, municipal official, and political leader, was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Robert Pelham, a plasterer and mason, and Frances Butcher. The Pelhams were a prosperous free black family who at one time owned a farm in Petersburg, Virginia. They were forced to sell, however, because of the harassment of townspeople, who were probably jealous of the family’s success. The need to leave Virginia became apparent when the Pelhams attempted to purchase a license for their pet dog but were turned down by local authorities, who claimed that only whites and slaves could purchase dog licenses. The family decided to head north, and around 1862, after brief stops in Columbus, Ohio, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Pelhams settled in Detroit shortly after Benjamin’s birth.

Pelham attended Detroit public schools and the fashionable Barstow private school While still a student ...

Article

Robert Fikes

politician and public administrator, was born in Weeletka, Oklahoma, the eldest son of the twelve children of Lloyd Williams, a laborer, and Elvira Lott. Williams moved with his impoverished family to Bakersfield, California, during the Great Depression in 1934. Soon after his graduation from Kern County Union High School in 1941, Williams settled in San Diego, California, where he found work as a mechanic's helper at the North Island Naval Air Station. In 1946 he married Dorothy Nisley. Williams enrolled in courses at San Diego City College in 1947 and, after completing military duty in the army air corps, became a full-time student at San Diego State College, where he graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1950. As a college student, in 1947 and 1948 Williams along with some fellow black and white students under the direction and training of ...