How are black men doing? Come find out

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

Lured by Sandusky’s significant population of black people, a state commission is hosting a hearing at the Erie County Health Department.

The Ohio Commission on African American Males has scheduled a public hearing from 6-8:30 p.m. Thursday at the Erie County Health Department, 420 Superior, Sandusky. The hearing will be in the board room of the back building.

It’s part of a series of hearings in 15 Ohio cities, most of them bigger than Sandusky, where the commission is having meetings. It hopes to find out how black men are doing in areas such as education, health care, criminal justice and jobs.

Gov. Ted Strickland backs the hearings and supports the commission’s work, said Samuel Gresham Jr., the commission’s executive director.

Black people aren’t found just in Ohio’s big cities, and the Sandusky hearing recognizes that, Gresham told me.

It also recognizes that Sandusky has thousands of black people. Black people make up about 21 percent of Sandusky’s population, or about 6,000 people, Gresham said.

Gresham hopes the meeting attracts “anyone who is interested in contributing to problem solving for African American males.”

That group obviously includes blacks, but everyone else is invited, too.

“Throughout the history of African people in America, we’ve always had strong partnerships with other people, including white people,” he said.