History of Black-Owned Businesses in Walnut Hills

Apr 26, 2018

One of the first African-American business districts in Cincinnati was Walnut Hills. The Lane Theological Seminary, owned by Dr. Lyman Beecher, father of Harriet Beecher Stowe, began leasing plots of land to African-Americans in the 1840s.

Lincoln Avenue became a prosperous business district for black families with establishments and included Thatcher Fish and Poultry and Sherman's Flower Shop. Black-owned businesses not only thrived with a diverse clientele, but they also were a necessity for African-American patrons, who often faced discrimination in white-owned establishments.

Joining "Cincinnati Edition" to discuss the history of black-owned businesses are Walnut Hills Historical Society Chair Sue Plummer; and active members of the committee Jena' Bradley and Joann Morse. Together they are compiling an archive of the area's black-owned businesses, which includes an oral history from surviving family members.

If you have a story to share of a black-owned business in Walnut Hills, email info@walnuthillsstories.org or call 513-401-5701.

Tune in to "Cincinnati Edition" April 26 starting at 1 p.m. to hear this segment, and below, have a listen to our full interview with the grandson of Ernest and Georgia Thatcher, owners of Thatcher's Fish and Poultry. In it, Nadir Rasheed shares his early childhood memories working in his grandparents' grocery. A warning to listeners, toward the end of the interview Mr. Rasheed recounts a story from his childhood in which he is called the N word.