The Story of Lucy Bagby
March 26, 2019
Restore Cleveland Hope told the story of Lucy Bagby who was the last fugitive in Cleveland before the Civil War.
These stories are called Beloved Community Dialogues. Inspired by Martin Luther King’s vision of a Beloved Community, RCH researches and tells stories of the Underground Railroad in NE Ohio. The stories themselves have been rescued from the largely lost history of that important time in Cleveland and along Lake Erie. There were many courageous black abolitionists and their white allies who took great risks to help the Freedom Seekers continue their path to escape.
"How Ol' Sol Jones Got Let"
February 23, 2019
"How Ol' Sol Jones Got Let" is a dramatic monologue, in the tradition of storytelling, describing the escape of three slaves and a free woman through Ohio from a Culpepper County Virginia plantation. The story, told by Doan Brook farmer and abolitionist Cyrus Ford, traces the escape through various points along the Ohio River into the Cleveland area prior to escaping to Canada via boats on the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie. Like many other American abolition tales, it is deeply linked to Ohio’s rivers and lakes, as rivers masked escape routes and Lake Erie offered safe travel to freedom in Canada. Ohio was central to the underground routes, offering more routes north than any other state, due to proximity to slave-holding states of Kentucky and Virginia, just across the Ohio River and Lake Erie on the north.
Freedom Festival! 2018
Celebrating and claiming Cleveland's anti-slavery past!
We celebrated freedom with music and stories about the Underground Railroad. Guests included The Hue People, Sheela Das, Harriet Tubman, and MORE! The Freedom Festival is held in the front yard of the historic Cozad-Bates House at 11508 Mayfield Road in University Circle.
Freedom Festival! is a free event for the whole family.
Honoring Joan Southgate
On August 5, 2018, Restore Cleveland Hope honored founder, Joan Southgate with a reception at the Linsalata Alumni Center. A speech was given by Fran Stewart (pictured with Joan), a historian and a co-author of In Their Path. You can view that speech here.
"Road to Hope," dedication of Toni Morrison's "Bench by the Road" at Cozad-Bates House
"Road to Hope" at the Cozard-Bates House in University Circle is one of a series of free, all-ages performing arts events inspired by the triumphs of the Underground Railroad, a celebration of hope and powerful engagement with current day social justice issues. "Road to Hope" activities will take place in multiple Cleveland-area neighborhoods from January through June 2016, produced in conjunction with Cleveland Public Theatre’s third annual Station Hope celebration.
The Cozad-Bates House Historic Marker Dedication Ceremony
Restore Cleveland Hope’s Freedom Festival! is a free event for the whole family. Through stories, re-enactments, dance and song we remember and learn from the past.
Station Hope at St. John's Episcopal Church
Presented by Cleveland Public Theater, Ohio City Incorporated and Ward 3 Councilman Joe Cimperman at St. John's Episcopal Church. "A Block-Party with a purpose, An Arts Event for the people, A Celebration of Hope."
City Hall Honors Joan Southgate
In 2014, Joan Southgate was recognized by the City of Cleveland for her efforts to save and preserve the Cozad-Bates House, 11508 Mayfield Road. It is the only building left standing in the University Circle area which was a part of the Underground Railroad. Pre-Civil War University Circle was a filled with farms, and many of the landowners were abolitionists. Joan felt that preserving that history was much more important than building another parking lot. Fortunately, others agreed, and the house has now been saved and is in the process of being restored. Chris Ronayne, CEO of University Circle Inc. which is now the owner of the house and the Cleveland Preservation Society were also given the award.
The Beloved Community Dialogues:
Conversations About Race, based on true stories from the Underground Railroad
The event was held at Deuteronomy 8:3 Cafe three Saturdays in August 2011. The Stories discussed were:
"Who is John Malvin?", Storyteller and Discussion Leader - Karen Gilliam
"The Barber's Betrayal", Storyteller- Fran Stewart and Discussion Leader - Karen Gilliam
"The Sacrifice of Lucy Bagby", Storyteller and Discussion Leader - Fran Stewart
The African American Heritage Center visits Cozad-Bates
The African American Heritage Center of the United Methodist Church held a regional event in Independence on Sat. Oct. 8th. They wanted to learn more about Cleveland's role in the anti-slavery movement. They contacted Restore Cleveland Hope and the arrangement was made that Joan would speak at their event. The group also visited St. John's Episcopal Church on Church Street off of West 25th and the Cozad-Bates House in University Circle.
Restore Cleveland Hope and the Montessori School at Holy Rosary (MSHR) came together to celebrate the last day of summer camp. Three stations were created for the children to explore.
Annual Walk for Hope
This three-mile walkathon started off at the African American Cultural Gardens and ended at the Historic Cozad-Bates House. The celebration included The Hue People, Chris Ronayne of University Inc., Cleveland’s historic and artistic treasures, and entertained at the Journey’s End Celebration by the Rainey Institute Drum Core led by Regina Foster.
In Their Path "Kick Off" Event
Area schoolchildren help Restore Cleveland Hope kick off “buy a mile” fund-raiser.
In Their Path! Walk Celebration
Crossroads Quilted Pot Holders
Along the Underground Railroad, messages were sent using quilts. Cleveland was the only city that had its own quilt code. It was called CROSSROADS.