Africana Studies

A Guide to African, African American, and Africans in the Diaspora Resources

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Poindexter Village, Columbus, Ohio

Site Plan prepared by Richards, McCarty and Bulford, Chief Architects for the Champion Avenue Project, No. Ohio. 1-1, July 7, 1939. Courtesy of Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority

The Ohio State University and Poindexter Village: Art & Research                 

Poindexter Village, located on the East Side, was the first public housing project in Columbus, Ohio.  The complex was built in the historic “The Blackberry Patch” area where many African American families lived in dilapidated conditions.  During The Great Depression the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) razed “The Blackberry Patch” and built a low-rise apartment complex specifically for African Americans. The complex was named after the Rev. James M. Poindexter, Second Baptist Church minister and the first African-American elected to the Columbus City Council. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the 400-unit housing complex on Oct. 12, 1940.

The Ohio State University and Poindexter Village relationship is prided on art and research.  Former Poindexter residents, the late Ms. Aminah Robinson and Dr. Earl Sylvester Sherard Jr., gained national prominence in their chosen career fields. Ms. Aminah Robinson attended OSU classes and exhibited her works at The Thompson Library, The Wexner Center, and other Columbus campus venues. Dr. Earl Sylvester Sherard Jr., MD; an OSU Medical School Alum, World War II Tuskegee  Airman, and OSU College of Medicine Professor of Pediatrics; pioneered pediatric and epilepsy research.  The Ohio State University and Poindexter Village: Art & Research  Showcase Display celebrates this distinguished relationship of art and research.



African American Art and Research

“The Negro in American life has been the source of much sociological discussion” wrote Dr. Richard Clyde Minor in his 1936 OSU dissertation, The Negro in Columbus, Ohio. He continues, “The City of Columbus has come in for its share of study. As might be expected, the city having the laboratory material, with the state University supplying the motivating force would be subjected to numerous studies.” Dr. Richard Clyde Minor, African American Columbus native, OSU Alum (BA 1921, MA 1926, and PhD 1936), authored several sociological studies on the Columbus African American community. His works include The Negro in Columbus, Ohio; Negro Recreation in Columbus, Ohio and; James Preston Poindexter: Elder Statesman of Columbus. The Columbus African American community, living on the East Side, is still utilized as a primary resource for cultural and contextual research studies. 

The OSU Connection: Alumni, Faculty, and Staff

Aminah Robinson, Artist, MacArthur Award Fellow

Kojo Kamau, Photographer, OSU, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Medical Illustration Photographer

Richard Steward Blackenberry, Alum, Assistant Dean of OSU University College West Campus

Robert D. Brown, Alum, Executive Director of the Ohio Civil Rights Commission

James Madison, Alum, First Resident Manager of Poindexter Village

Dr. Earl Sylvester Sherard Jr., MD, Alum, Professor of Pediatrics, OSU College of Medicine

Rev. James Preston Poindexter, Abolitionist,Clergyman,and Community Leader               

October 26, 1819 – February 7, 1907 

A Selected Bibliography

Allen, William K. Historical Reflections: The Community and the Afro-American Pioneer Physicians of Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: W.K. Allen, 1988.

Alston, John C. Negro Housing in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Columbus Urban League, 1946.

Columbus Landmarks Foundation. African-American Settlements and Communities in Columbus, Ohio: A Report. Columbus, OH: Columbus Landmarks Foundation Press, 2014.

Columbus Urban League (Columbus, Ohio). Quality-Integrated Schools for Columbus, Ohio: A Report. Columbus, OH: The League, 1967.

Coston, John O. J. and Arthur F. Rankin. History of the Black Firefighters in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Continental/Starbuck, 1981.

Drake, St. Clair and Horace R. Cayton. Black Metropolis: A Study of Negro Life in a Northern City. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1970.  

Du Bois W.E.B. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Du Bois W.E.B.; edited by Henry L. Gates, and Terri H. Oliver. The Souls of Black Folk: Authoritative Text, Contexts, Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999. 

Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans, 9th ed.  Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2011. 

Franklin, John Hope. From Slavery to Freedom: A History of Negro Americans, 3rd ed. New York: Vintage Press, 1977.

Frontiers Club of Columbus. Advancement: Negroes Contribution in Franklin County, 1803-1953. Columbus, OH: Chapter of Frontiers of America, 1954.

Giffin, William W. African Americans and the Color Line in Ohio, 1915-1930. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 2005. 

Gilbert, Gwendolyn C. and Robert C. Foulk. The State of Black Columbus, 1980. Columbus, OH: Center for Change and Leadership, Columbus Urban League, 1980.

Goodman, Eduard S. The Effect of Relocation on The Former Occupants of the Site of the Poindexter Village Housing Project in Columbus, Ohio, 1939-1940. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1940.  

Gray, Chester J. Job Opportunities for Negro Youth in Columbus. Columbus, OH: National Youth Administration in Ohio, 1938.

Himes, J. S., Jr. Forty Years of Negro Life in Columbus, Ohio. The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 27, No. 2 (April 1942), pp. 133-154.

Jacobs, Gregory S. Getting Around Brown: Desegregation, Development, and the Columbus Public Schools. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1998.

Joiner, William A. A Half Century of Freedom of the Negro in Ohio. Freeport, NY: Books for Libraries Press, 1972.

Kerckhoff, Richard K. Negro News in Columbus, Ohio, Newspapers, 1938-1948. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1949.   

Marable, Manning. Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990. New York: Macmillan, 1991.

Mark, Mary Louise. Negroes in Columbus, 1923. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University Press, 1928.   

Martin, C. Sunny and Melanie Houston 100 Years of African-American Achievement at the Ohio State University. Columbus: C. Sunny Martin, 2011.

Minor, Richard Clyde. The Negro in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1936.

Minor, Richard Clyde. Negro Recreation in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1926.

Minor, Richard Clyde. James Preston Poindexter: Elder Statesman of Columbus. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, 1947.  

Moreland, Curtina M. B. The Black Community of Columbus: A Study of the Structure and Pattern of Power in a Midwestern City. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1977.

Oakfield, Margaret Jones Clark. The Negro Pharmacist and Physician in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1939.

Planning and Research Bureau, Columbus (Ohio). The Columbus Riot: A Brief Report of the Events That Occurred in Columbus, July 21 Thru July 27, 1969. Columbus, OH: Planning and Research Bureau, 1969.   

Pratt, Edna S. et al. The Columbus Negro: A Social Study. Columbus, OH: NP, 1904. 

Pritchard, Pamela. The Negro Experience at the Ohio State University in the First Sixty-Five Years, 1873-1938: With Special Emphasis on Negroes in the College of Education. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 1982. 

Robinson, Aminah B. L. and Amy Gilman. The Ragmud Collection: Books by Aminah Robinson. Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art, 2010.

Robinson, Aminah B. L. A Street Called Home. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Co, 1997.

Robinson, Aminah B. L. and Carole M. Genshaft. Symphonic Poem: The Art of Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Columbus, OH: Columbus Museum of Art in association with Harry N. Abrams, 2002.

Robertson, Karen Sue.  Life on Long Street: A Story of Trials, Triumphs, and Community in King Lincoln- An Exhibition Prospectus. Columbus, OH: Ohio State University, 2015.

Rodabaugh, James H. The Negro in Ohio. The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 31, No. 1 (January 1946), pp. 9-29.

Siebert, Wilbur Henry. The Mysteries of Ohio's Underground Railroads. Columbus, OH: Long's College Book Company, 1951.

Walters, Mary D. Afro-Americana: A Comprehensive Bibliography of Resource Materials in the Ohio State University Libraries by or About Black Americans. Columbus, OH: Office of Educational Services, Ohio State University Libraries, 1969.

Wesley, Charles H. Negro Americans in Ohio: A Sesquicentennial View. Wilberforce, OH: Central State College, 1976.

Wead, Rodney S. Coming This Far by Faith: A History of the African American Church in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus, OH: Neighborhood House, 1996.

Zinn, Howard. A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present. New York: Routledge, 2015.


Rev. James Preston Poindexter, Abolitionist,Clergy

African American and African Studies Librarian and Comparative Studies Librarian

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Leta Hendricks
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222B Thompson Library 1858 Neil Avenue Columbus, OH 43210