Black History: Special Delivery!!
Born in 1827, Eliza Bryant was a black abolitionist and businesswoman. She grew up on a plantation in Wayne County North Carolina. Her mother Polly Simmons was enslaved, and her father was the plantation master. She moved north with her mother in 1848 when her mother was freed. They purchased a home in Cleveland, OH with money given to the family from their former master. Bryant was very active in the Cleveland community in supporting blacks who had newly relocated from the south after emancipation as part of the great migration.
In serving the community, she saw first-hand the needs of elderly blacks who were left alone due to slavery. At that time, there were no nursing homes that accepted blacks. In 1893 Bryant and two other women, Sarah Green and Lethia Flemming started making plans to establish a convalescent home for elderly blacks.
The “Cleveland Home For Aged Colored People opened in 1897 and is still in operation today. The home operated as a 19 bed facility until 1967 when it moved to a larger 47 bed facility. In 1960 the name of the home was changed to the “Eliza Bryant Home”. The home moved to its current location in 1985.
Today the facility is known as, “Eliza Bryant Village”. It is a 175-bed facility with an Alzheimer’s unit, an outpatient rehabilitation clinic, a senior outreach center and 149 senior housing units.