NewsBlack History Month


Cleveland Black History Trailblazers: John Patterson Green, Cleveland’s first Black elected official

Posted at 6:07 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 18:38:09-05

CLEVELAND — All this month, News 5 is profiling trailblazers in Northeast Ohio Black History, this time highlighting John Patterson Green, who became the first African American elected to office in Cleveland, less than 10 years after the end of the Civil War.

Green’s family moved from North Carolina to Cleveland in 1857. He attended Central High School, studied law and was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 1870.

In 1873, Green became the first African American elected to office in Cleveland, serving as the Republican Justice of the Peace.

He later went on to be the first African American member to serve in the Ohio State Senate in 1892, where he introduced a bill that established Labor Day as a state holiday.

Learn more about John Patterson Green on Case Western Reserve University’s Encyclopedia of Cleveland history here.

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