The ‘Messiah’ Mayor Who Believed in Cleveland When No One Else Did

Carl Stokes, the First African American to Lead a Big City, Was Both a Realist and a Showman

On June 24, 1969, the mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, Carl Stokes, held a press conference on a railroad trestle, one of two bridges damaged when an oil slick caught fire on the Cuyahoga River two days earlier. The coverage in local newspapers was minimal. The fire went out soon after it started. No one bothered to snap a picture. In fact, a Cleveland Press photo of the mayor standing on the tracks with reporters is as close as we can get to the blaze. It was almost a nonissue.

Almost. …

The ‘Hillbilly’ Migrants Who Made Akron, Ohio the World’s Rubber Capital

The Work Was Dangerous, the Wages Low, but They Built Better Lives and Helped the U.S. Fight Two World Wars

In the earliest decades of the 20th century, more than 28 million men and women—black and white—began “The Great Migration” north from the Deep South and Appalachia. Among those who …

There’s No Magic Bullet for Cleveland’s Poverty

But by Acknowledging the Myriad Causes and Effects of Low Incomes, the City Is Making Tremendous Progress

Until the recent NBA championship of Lebron James’ Cavaliers, Cleveland has been known for topping a different kind of list—cities with the highest levels of poverty.

Since 2000, Cleveland has …

The Wonderful, Painful Opera of Cleveland

From Idylls to Industrial Wastelands and Back, the City’s Stark Contrasts Will Come Into Focus at This Year’s Republican National Convention

Inside Cuyahoga Valley National Park, through a deep secondary growth forest, a narrow trail skirts the infamous Cuyahoga River following the historic route of the Ohio & Erie Canal. This …

Why Election Day In Ohio Depressed the Hell Out of Me

We’ve Got the Mechanics Of Democracy Down Fine—But We’re Losing the Spirit

I just spent Election Eve and Election Day in the ultimate swing state and the heart of the presidential election: at a hotel in Capitol Square, in the heart of …

I’m In an Akron State of Mind

Ohio Is Where You Go to Stop Daydreaming

I didn’t choose Ohio, it chose me.

“No, you chose it here. You could’ve gone somewhere else. You had options,” says my roommate, a New Yorker, as he snarks through a …