If one was to ask an Akron teen for their opinion on this urbanized, Rust Belt city which we call home, the replies may vary. Some kids may feel stuck here, dreaming of living elsewhere. Possibly a place with a steady weather pattern.
They may feel, (I know many of my friends would agree) that there aren’t many things to do in Akron. They view Akron as a rundown, dirty city, holding nothing except for a world-renowned basketball prodigy to its name. However, these distorted views do not define Akron at all. To me, Akron is a beautifully historic place. To me, Akron is home.
Unfortunately, many kids my age have no idea that this seemingly boring city was once a hustling, bustling hub; an integral part of shaping early industry in America and throughout the world. Akron is a diamond in the rough.
A major manufacturer of its glory days has done well to dilute and bury its booming past. It seems Akron can be easily summarized: unfinished projects, unlucky sports teams and bad weather. The youth of Akron deserve to know about their hometown’s inspiring past. From being nicknamed the “canal town” for its crucial, innovative means of transportation which attracted people and businesses galore during its glory days, to becoming home to the top manufacturers of rubber, cereals, ceramics and toys, there is so much more to this broken city.
Only by instilling pride in young Akronites can this glory ever be restored.
Local business, Rubber City Clothing, strives to fulfill this idea. Creating and selling unique pieces bearing sayings such as “The United States of Ohio,” “Straight Outta Akron” and more, they are a business whose dedication lies in “celebrating everything that makes the Rubber City such a great place to live.”
They integrate Akron’s inspiring past into their products. This is exactly what we’ve needed: products that say, “Repping the Rubber City is cool.” More importantly, “Repping my city is cool.”
Akron’s future lies in the young adults, the teenagers, the youth populations. We are responsible for proposing ideas, which we feel will benefit our community, and for doing our part to make Akron a better place, to make Akron a subject of pride and glory.
Rubber City Clothing inspires young adults to embrace the past and to build the future. By deriving inspiration, motivation and hope from our past, we are able to accomplish anything.
The spark of inspiration to write new beginnings in the rough-around-the-edges, possibly tearing at the seams, novel which we call Akron, lies in the minds and hearts of the youth, the minds and the hearts of my generation and of generations to come.
We are able to appreciate what Akron once was and allow that to inspire all that Akron can be. Through instilling pride in Akron’s youth, this positive future is not out of reach. After all, Akron is not a work in progress and most certainly is not forgotten; it’s a work of art.