South Cumminsville: For the Love of the Neighborhood

A place with high rates of homeownership and a dwindling business district.

In this episode, the final of our Lost Voices of Cincinnati series*, we’re exploring the history of South Cumminsville, a neighborhood that, like many Black neighborhoods in Cincinnati, has been divided and diminished by top-down urban planning decisions and years of disinvestment. But it’s also a place with a long history of Black entrepreneurship, ownership, and activism — going back to the late 1800s, when unsung Cincinnati hero Sarah Fossett helped make South Cumminsville a vibrant community for African Americans. Today, it remains a place where residents support each other and fight every day to improve their community.

  • Part I: A Tour of South Cumminsville [0:00–06:25]
  • Part II: Sarah Fossett, a Cincinnati hero [06:26–16:12]
  • Part III: The West End, the Highway, and a Riot [16:13–21:34]
  • Part IV: Community Action and a Vision for the Future [21:35–27:40]

*If you missed our prelude episode, then take a pause and listen to that show first! Also, check out our previous episodes on the Evanston and Avondale neighborhoods!


Our guests include South Cumminsville community council president, Tim Canady, vice president Derek Fagin; community members, Annie Williams, Alberta Warton, Scotty Lewis, and Wilbur Canady. Our episode also features Queens of Queens City’s Sean Andres and Working in Neighborhoods’ Rigel Behrens.


The Lost Voices of Cincinnati series was made possible by a Truth & Reconciliation grant from ArtsWave. We need help for future projects so please consider donating to our Fundly fundraising campaign!

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