On his way to Hollywood, a young Black man named Winston Willis stopped in Cleveland in 1959 to shoot a little pool and walked away $35,000 richer. He used his winnings to open over two dozen businesses on Cleveland's East Side, a vibrant area that locals referred to as "Inner City Disneyland." For a time, Willis was a multi-millionaire, the largest employer of Black people in the Midwest, and a bold business mogul with a big reputation.
Nowadays, there's no trace of the "Miracle on 105th Street". That same intersection is dominated by the campus of a non-profit hospital system. And most people growing up in Cleveland today have never heard of Winston Willis.
Cleveland writer and race educator Ajah Hales examines the forces that punished Willis for daring to live the American dream, and goes on a search for his missing legacy.
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