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My Hope For Glenville: Amir Ali-Bey

Amir Ali-Bey was 15 years old during the 1968 Glenville shootout [Lawrence Caswell / ideastream]
Amir Ali-Bey reflects on being 15 years old during the 1968 Glenville shootout

Amir Ali-Bey was 15 years old when the 1968 Glenville shootout erupted.

He'd been involved with the Afro culture shop that Fred Ahmed Evans ran. 

“It was just something that - coming to the mind of a youth - that things just aren’t right with the bureaucracy and then being taught my history and black culture from a grassroots level is what I learned,” recalled Ali-Bey.

Evans would later be convicted of murder for the deaths of three Cleveland police officers and a civilian in a shootout on the night of July 23, 1968. Three members of Evans’ black nationalist group also died.

In the days after the shootout, Ali-Bey says he was harassed by police and National Guardsmen who were sent into the Glenville neighborhood to restore order following fires and looting of area businesses.

“As a matter of fact, a friend of mine was hit with a rifle butt across the forehead and he lives with that scar today,” said Ali-Bey.

Ali-Bey says his hope for Glenville is that the neighborhood turns around for sake of the young people growing up there now.


Produced by Hannah Edelman.

lawrence.caswell@ideastream.org | 216-916-6304