Exhibit chronicles Glendale's role in the Underground Railroad as Black History Month gets underway

GLENDALE, Ohio -- Through cooperation, compassion and persistence, the village of Glendale became a key location along the Underground Railroad and as a result, a community that became a safe place for African-Americans to settle.

So it’s fitting as Black History Month gets underway that this history is on display at a historic site in the village.

Author, artist and Glendale native Bill Parrish created an exhibit in the Glendale Heritage Preservation Museum at 44 Village Square that chronicles Glendale’s role in the Underground Railroad. The exhibit shows how African-Americans came to settle in Glendale and the people who made it a safe haven during the time of slavery.

“I would love to see the narrative become, How we did it well together and as a result of that, black people came into freedom?” Parrish said.

Parrish first decided to write a book, “An Underground Community,” to tell Glendale’s story, but felt the exhibit would be a good way to teach lessons about the village to a broader audience.

The Eckstein Cultural Arts Center, in conjunction with the village, hopes to finalize the agreement for usage of the former school. The school operated from 1915-1958 as a segregated school. It was named for Eleanor Eckstein, a teacher who taught at multiple schools during segregation.

A reception will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 4 at Eckstein Elementary School to kick off the exhibit, which will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit Bill Parrish’s Facebook page.

See the video above for more from Parrish about how the exhibit was created.

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