How slavery still impacts Northeast Ohio, and what can be done to solve the lingering inequality

Panel and guests listen to stories and offer solutions at town hall at Karamu House
Published: Feb. 25, 2020 at 11:28 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Throughout February, 19 News has embarked on a critical initiative, 400-Years: The Vestiges of Slavery In Cleveland.

On Tuesday night, it was a culmination of those stories, along with a discussion among community members, to find solutions.

They came young and old, and from different backgrounds. But for those who were in attendance, they heard stories of tragedy and triumph.

One of the guest panelists was Avery Friedman, an acclaimed Civil Right attorney, who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He’s been fighting for the rights of African-Americans for decades.

He says the meeting was overdue. “It is a starting point to tell Greater Cleveland and NEO: we’re going to stand up and try to solve problems which have separated our people, and tonight may be that starting point.”

Musician Maurice Philpott was the youngest panelist at Tuesday’s town hall.

His experience helped bridge the gap and showcase his talents in making a difference. “I really want change. I want to be out there in the field and get my hands dirty and experiment with different things. Putting my hands on things, more than just talking about it, cause there’s a lot of talk going on, but not a lot of things happening in action.”

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