African American Cultural Garden Groundbreaking May 11, 2015
The African American Cultural Garden is part of the Cleveland Cultural Gardens Federation (CCGF). The CCGF is the group of dedicated volunteers who clean up the Gardens, plant flowers, shrubs and trees and raise money for statues and monuments. There are almost 30 gardens in the CCGF chain along East and MLK Boulevards in Cleveland.
For over 30 years there was a plot reserved for the African American Cultural Garden on MLK Blvd. There was a sign and some events were held there but progress was slow. Now, Phase 1 of the Garden has begun. This was celebrated with a groundbreaking ceremony in the African American Cultural Garden on Monday May 11, 2015.
Carl Ewing, president of the African American Cultural Garden group, spoke at the Groundbreaking Ceremony and welcomed the large crowd.
Bishop Tony Minor gave the invocation.
Bishop Tony Minor
Marla Hodges-Travick of Rhema Fellowship Church sang the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing.
Next, Darnell Brown, Chief of Operations, and Natoya J. Walker Minor, Chief of Public Affairs of the city of Cleveland, spoke at the Groundbreaking Ceremony.
Darnell Brown and Natoya J. Walker Minor
Daniel Bickerstaff of Ubiquitous Designs spoke and explained the design of the proposed Garden.
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson spoke next at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of the African American Cultural Garden. Delegate Carl Ewing said that Mayor Jackson has been instrumental in getting the Garden to this point and will take it to the next level.
Mayor Frank Jackson
Councilman Kevin Conwell and Council President Kevin Kelley spoke next.
Kevin Kelley and Kevin Conwell
Council President Kevin Kelley
They were followed by Councilman Jeff Johnson.
Kevin Kelley and Councilman Jeff Johnson
Councilman Johnson introduced City of Cleveland Community Development Director Daryl Rush and Mrs. Dorothy Adams.
Mrs. Dorothy Adams
Susan Hall of the Western Reserve Historical Society spoke next.
Susan Hall and Carl Ewing
Booker Tall was the driving force behind the African American Cultural Garden. His family was introduced and came on stage and spoke.
Introducing Booker Tall family
The crowd was entertained by African drummers and dancers from the Djapo Cultural Arts Dance and Drum Ensemble led by Talise A. Campbell and after the program, leaders and dignitaries grabbed shovels and hardhats for the Groundbreaking at the African American Cultural Garden.