African Americans of Canton Ohio


Nadine McIlwain and Geraldine Radcliffe reveal the celebrated legends, unsung heroes and historic firsts of African Americans residing in the Canton community. From Canton’s earliest days, the black population has contributed to the city’s, and even the nation’s, prominence and prosperity. During World War II, nineteen-year-old Harold White joined the famed Tuskegee Airmen of the Ninety-Ninth Fighter Squadron. Only a few years later, Dorothy White persevered through prejudice to become Canton’s first black teacher, paving the way for a long line of dedicated teachers stretching to the present day. Renowned R&B group the O’Jays formed in Canton, and professional golfer Renee Powell is just one of many local athletes to reach the heights of her profession.