Documentary builds story of Alpha Phi Alpha project

Via PBS Western Reserve

An Answer from Akron‘ debuts this week

PBS Western Reserve presents the broadcast TV premiere of AN ANSWER FROM AKRON, which tells a unique story about a group of young African American men who, at the height of the civil rights movement, were in the right place to answer a call for help.

Members of the local chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, the nation’s oldest African American fraternity, became the first black organization to receive federal funding for affordable housing. With virtually no experience, these men launched a program to provide housing for their friends and families who had been displaced from their homes due to an aggressive urban renewal program. This achievement is historic not only because it was the first of its kind, but because it also represents a successful case study in affordable housing, for it is still in operation today more than 50 years later.

AN ANSWER FROM AKRON tells how local members of Alpha Phi Alpha combatted racial barriers and ultimately succeeded in building affordable housing for those in need. While similar projects in other cities have failed and been demolished, those in Akron continue to thrive and serve their original purpose.

The documentary next airs at Thursday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. on Cleveland’s PBS Western Reserve.