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Race Intersects Place

Jacqueline Gillon

Jacqueline Gillon's family was one of the first African American families on her street. In this way, she helped "integrate" the neighborhood. Integration is in quotes because, in fact, black residency triggered white flight. As African Americans moved in, white people began leaving the neighborhood rapidly. Between the 1960 and 1970 census, East Cleveland changed from almost exclusively white city to a predominantly African American one. The transition might have been quick, but it was not easy, or free from racial strife, as experienced by Jacqueline Gillon as a child. To this day, she can recall her "integration" experience with clarity. Her memory shows us how race interacts with place to shape someone's experience of space.