Originally published by Akron Beacon Journal - Anthony Thompson, August 29, 2022
The construction of the Akron Innerbelt highway in the 1970s contributed to the death and decay of what was once the city's largest Black community.
More than 50 years later, this dark chapter of Akron history is being illuminated for a new generation, with plans being set in motion for the renovation and repurposing of a decommissioned section of a highway that uprooted so many Black lives decades prior.
"This was such a vibrant area and as painful as reliving this history may be, I'm glad we are getting an opportunity to celebrate the lives of a generation who had their entire families and livelihoods uprooted by the Innerbelt construction," said longtime Akron resident James Hairston.
"What is sad is at the time the money that these Black-owned businesses and churches were given to relocate was so little that they had to exist at a lower standard than what they experienced before, and this lower standard is still experienced in this neighborhood so many years later," Hairston said...