African American Cultural Gardens

The African American Cultural Garden has been a dream for many since the land was dedicated in 1978. After  37 years, due to the tenacity and commitment of many dedicated individuals coupled with corporate financial support, Phase I is nearly complete. Looking forward to beginning Phase II of the Garden, the Association of African American Cultural Garden (AAACG) and The Friends of the Cleveland Federation of Cultural Gardens held the First Annual Night at the African American Cultural Garden event at the Global Center for Health Innovation on Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland to help raise the necessary funds. As honorary co-chair, Mayor Frank G. Jackson gave brief remarks at this special inaugural black tie gala, which included musical entertainment and a silent auction.

The African American Cultural Garden is one of 29 gardens in the Cleveland Federation of Cultural Gardens. This educationally designed garden is skillfully crafted to represent the past and present accomplishments of African Americans with a vision for the future. The Past Pavilion, which is part of Phase I, seeks to translate the experience of the initial aspects of the “Trans-Atlantic slave trade” through the reinterpretation of the corridors and the Doorway-of-No-Return. While, the Present Pavilion, which evokes a sense of “Emergence”, is comprised of polished black granite pyramidal concaved sculptural form. The Future Pavilion located at the Martin Luther King (MLK) Drive end of the garden responds to the desire for reflection and hope through the re-introduction of a fountain and reflecting pool. The Platform of the Future Pavilion is also part of the Phase 1 building project. 

Eric Benson