Three Hiram College faculty members are giving public lectures at Lake View Cemetery in Cleveland (12316 Euclid Ave.) on Sundays at 2 p.m. in February for Black History Month. Registration is $5 and the lectures are open to the public.
Lake View Cemetery is a nationally recognized landmark that is a burial ground for notable Cleveland residents and important figures in Ohio’s history, including Hiram College alumnus and former U.S. President James A. Garfield. The subjects of these lectures are prominent African-Americans who contributed to the development of Cleveland throughout their lives and are buried in the cemetery. Below is the full schedule of lectures.
Feb. 7 – Elizabeth Piatt, Ph.D., assistant professor of sociology, will speak on Charles Chesnutt and his daughter Helen. Charles was an author and activist while Helen was a schoolteacher who was also an author and a teacher — the first black teacher in Cleveland public schools.
Feb. 14 – Anisi Daniels Smith, instructor of sociology, will speak on Jane Edna Hunter who founded the Phyllis Wheatley Association and was a prominent member of the NAACP.
Feb. 21 – Vivien Sandlund, Ph.D., professor of history, will speak on Garrett Morgan, an inventor and entrepreneur.
Feb. 28 – Dr. Sandlund will speak again; this time on brothers Carl and Louis Stokes. Carl Stokes was the first black mayor of Cleveland in 1967 and Louis Stokes was an Ohio congressman.
The Cemetery regularly has speakers on the important historical figures that are buried in the cemetery and tours of the site. Professor Vivien Sandlund, Ph.D., said that this is the first time the Lake View Cemetery is hosting speakers for Black History Month. After several Hiram College faculty members visited the Cemetery, professors who were doing research in African-American history were invited speak on the prominent community members.
“This will help to make these prominent African-American figures who were major contributors to the region and society in general better known and more visible,” said Dr. Sandlund. “It will also make Hiram better known and more visible to the community.”
Professor Elizabeth Piatt, Ph.D., hopes that her talk will show the Cleveland community what Hiram’s campus is like and what students experience in their classes.
“These talks also highlight the diversity of interests among the faculty at Hiram and our commitment to ‘interdisciplinarity,’” said Piatt. “I am a sociologist, but I love the literature of the Harlem Renaissance and often use it in my sociology classes.”
“Our goal ultimately is to promote awareness of who is in the cemetery but also awareness of African-American contributors to the area who weren’t necessarily born here, but who did live and work here,” Dr. Sandlund added.
Lake View Cemetery is home to the James A. Garfield Monument, which honors the nation’s 20th president and Hiram College’s second president. Hiram’s Chamber Choir, the “Hi-Notes” performed at a Wreath-Laying Ceremony honoring President Garfield in November and again at the Lake View Cemetery’s Wade Memorial Chapel during a holiday program in December.
Reservations for the lectures can be made by calling 216.453.0990 or online at www.lakeviewcemetery.com.