Abstract: Black Power Is Green Power: Black Power Protest and the Formation of Hough Area Development Corporation

Nashani Frazier

Abstract

Hough Area Development Corporation (HADC) formed in the spring of 1967 from a secretly organized group dubbed "the Machine." The Machine consisted of a coalition of civil rights activists who presumed that any urban renewal or reconstruction funds designated for the Hough neighborhood in Cleveland, Ohio, should be administered by members of the Hough community. The organization's legitimacy as an economic development corporation received a major boost when it received a $1.6 million grant from the Office of Economic Opportunity. Unfortunately, HADC came under fire two years after its formation when the corporation used OEO funds to purchase two McDonald's restaurants that were obtained through boycott and direct action protest methods. Although HADC was only one member in Operation Black Unity, the black nationalist umbrella group that launched the protests, questions arose as to the use of government funds for such a purchase and the appropriateness of HADC benefiting from the success of a boycott that some argued was extortion but others believed was black power in action. Eventually, HADC's embrace of direct action protest and black nationalist ideology began to intrude on its ability to formulate a sense of itself as a purely economic development corporation.