Ohio Secretary of State's Office    
 Jon Husted & the Office  |  Elections & Voting  |  Campaign Finance  |  Legislation & Ballot Issues  |  Businesses  |  Records  |  Media Center  |  Publications 
Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio
Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio Profile Ohio
 
Printer Friendly Page

AfricanAmericansinOhio

Because of its social stance as an anti-slavery state, Ohio was a destination for a number of escaped slaves before the Civil War. As early as the 1870s, members of the Society of Friends (a Peace Church within the Quaker faith) actively assisted former slaves in their search for freedom. Ohio was important in the operation of the Underground Railroad. While some escaped slaves passed through Ohio on the way to Canada, a large number settled in Ohio, particularly in growing cities like Cleveland and Cincinnati. By 1860, almost 37,000 African-Americans lived in Ohio.

African-Americans also greatly contributed to the state’s culture. For some examples of these contributions, click the portraits on this page.

You can also learn more about Ohio’s role in the Underground Railroad by visiting Cincinnati’s National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

 

George Washington Williams

George Washington Williams, who was originally born in Pennsylvania, moved to Cincinnati and became the first African- American elected to the Ohio Legislature in 1879. Williams retired from politics after one term as state representative. However, he continued to serve as a leader and spokesman for the black community and later wrote History of the Negro Race in America 1618-1880. The publication of this two-volume, 60 chapter work made Williams the first African- American to write a history of his race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesse OwensJesse Owens, who grew up in Cleveland and attended The Ohio State University, won four gold medals at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Prior to the Olympics, Owens set three world records and tied a fourth in the span of 45 minutes during a Big Ten track and field meet on May 25, 1935. Following the 1936 Olympics, Owens retired from competition.

 

 

 

 

Toni MorrisonIn 1993, Lorain native Toni Morrison became the first African-American woman to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature. Morrison has earned several honors for her work, including a Pulitzer Prize for her 1987 novel Beloved. Morrison, who earned degrees from Howard University and Cornell University, has also worked as an editor and played a significant role in bringing African-American literature into the mainstream.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Paul Laurence DunbarPaul Laurence Dunbar, an author from Dayton, was the first nationally-recognized  African-American poet. The child of two former slaves, Dunbar’s work often dealt with the efforts of African-Americans to achieve equality in the United States. Aside from having his work published in a number of periodicals of the day, Dunbar also produced 12 books of poetry, five novels, four books of short stories and one play.

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Laurence DunbarStephanie Tubbs Jones represented the east side of Cleveland in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999 to 2008. Tubbs Jones was the first African-American woman elected to Congress from Ohio. Prior to serving in Congress, Tubbs Jones was a municipal judge, trial court judge and Cuyahoga County prosecutor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stay Connected
Follow our office
SOSHusted
Facebook Follow OhioSOSHusted on Twitter YouTube
The Ohio Channel Ohio Secretary of State's office RSS Feeds


 Privacy  |  Contact Us  |  State of Ohio

Created 2011

Footer Fade Left  Footer Seal  Footer Fade Right

Jon Husted & the Office

Contact Us
Biography
Duties & Responsibilities
Media Center
Publications
Employment


Initiatives

Ohio Military Votes
Ohio Business Profile
Reshape Ohio
Vote in Honor of a Veteran
Founding Fathers
Shielding Our Protectors
Be a P.E.O. in Ohio


Legislation & Ballot Issues

Putting an Issue on the Ballot
Ohio Ballot Board
Bill Effective Dates

Voters

Register to Vote / Update Your Address
Voting Absentee
FAQs About Voting
About This Election
Voters With Disabilities
Uniformed & Overseas Citizens Absentee Voters (UOCAVA)
Rights & Responsibilities


Elections Results & Data

Elections Officials

County Board Directory
Directives, Advisories, Memos & Tie Votes
Forms & Petitions
Resources
Precinct Election Officials
County Voting Equipment

National Voter Registration Act


Candidates

Election Calendar
Candidate Requirement Guide
Forms & Petitions
District Maps


Campaign Finance

Search Candidates & Committees
File Online
Handbook
Resources

Business Services

Ohio Business Central
Business Name Search
Guide to Name Availability
Filing Forms & Fee Schedule
Business Filing Notification System
Ohio Business Profile


Uniform Commercial Code

File Online
Search Filings
UCC Forms & Fees


Business Information

Starting a Business
Expedite Your Filing
FAQs
Business Identity Theft
Certificates of Good Standing
Prepayment Accounts
Request a Report
Glossary of Business Entities

Records

Apostilles & Certifications
Notary Public
Search Notaries
Minister License
Search Ministers
Forms & Fees
Non-Resident Alien Land
Debarred Contractors

Historical Documents


Laws of Ohio
Ohio Constitution
Profile Ohio