Future Outlook League

From Ohio History Central

John O. Holly formed the Future Outlook League in 1935 to help African Americans find jobs in Cleveland, Ohio. In the early decades of the twentieth century, African Americans had traveled North in large numbers to find better economic opportunities in a movement that came to be known as the Great Migration. Many African Americans came to Ohio and settled in large urban areas where there were a number of industries. They hoped that they would escape the discrimination that they had faced in the South

Economic conditions for African Americans became even more difficult during the Great Depression. Unemployment rates in Cleveland and elsewhere were very high, and employers often hired white workers instead of African Americans. Faced with this challenge, the Future Outlook League's goal was to help African Americans in Cleveland find jobs. Its members attempted to fight racial discrimination in employment.

The Future Outlook League used boycotts and pickets to persuade white employers to hire African Americans. The organization also worked with labor unions to organize working-class black people. It continued its efforts during World War II. In addition to boycotts and other types of protests, the League began to challenge discriminatory practices through the court system. At its peak, the Future Outlook League had more than 27,000 members.

Although the original organization no longer exists, a group known as the New Future Outlook League was organized in 1997. The new organization encourages African Americans to exercise their right to vote. Its members believe that voter education will instill a new spirit of activism in the African-American community in Cleveland.

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