Watch: WKBN’s Dee Crawford sits down with local civil rights activist Dr. Ron Daniels

Black History Month

Dr. Ron Daniels discussed the early days of the civil rights struggle in Youngstown and how he ended up running presidential campaigns for the Reverend Jesse Jackson and eventually himself

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – One man made a big impact on the civil rights struggle here in Youngstown, but he also said Youngstown made a big impact on him.

Dr. Ron Daniels has been in the headlines around Youngstown for almost 60 years.

He’s a civil rights activist, broadcaster, one-time presidential candidate and now educator and author.

WKBN’s Community Affairs Director, Dee Crawford, spent time looking at the past with Daniels to get a focus on the future.

Daniels was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pa., and the Youngstown, Ohio area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Youngstown State University, a master’s in political science from Rockefeller School of Public Affairs in Albany, New York and a doctorate of philosophy at Africana Studies from the Union Institute and University in Cincinnati.

“In Youngstown, I brought the Pittsburgh experience back with me and created something called the Cadet Corps. And they were people who were always there to give encouragement,” he said.

Daniels said mentorship is a key to helping young Black people succeed.  

“Susan Taylor, you know, the iconic Susan Taylor from ‘Essence’ magazine has a whole national organization, a community listening, community cares organization that deals with mentoring, um, LeBron James, I mean, you know, so you see a lot of people, athletes, artists, beginning to return back to the community, in a way that maybe there was a gap when that wasn’t happening,” he said.

Daniels went on to say, “I have a class to African people, and we talk about, you know, we have to learn to teach, learn to teach and, and work the bill, and we talk about having no mothers, children, no fathers, children; we’ve talked about raising many children. And that’s what that was. That was what was going on and, and our era and that there were no mothers, children that fall was shown. And we were all raised by the community. And the question now is how do you create systems that do that? Because frankly, things have broken down. They’ve broken down because there’s not the same respect for elders.”

Daniels also discussed the early days of the civil rights struggle in Youngstown and how he ended up running presidential campaigns for the Reverend Jesse Jackson and eventually himself. You can see more of that interview in the video above.

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