Black Monday '77

Louis Delbarre tells the sad story of a small rustbelt town in rural Ohio, still suffering the consequences of decisions made 50 years ago.

This story is about the effect of one event that occurred in Youngstown in Ohio in 1977, and the lasting effect of the people left behind.

Youngstown City Centre
Abandoned house on Main Street

The workers and the people living in Youngstown, as well as the media, refer to it as 'Black Monday'.

Abandoned Buckeye High School

Black Monday was the name given to a mass lay-off that took place at the Youngstown Sheet and Tube Factory in 1977, where 5000 people were let go by the company. This episode shocked the whole of the Steel Valley and was the first instance in a succession of companies closing or being bought out.

Abandoned worksite in Youngstown, Ohio

'Black Monday' was tragic, nearly half of the population had to leave the area for lack of employment, and that was just the beginning of it. Soon afterward, a wave of unemployment hit the state of Ohio.

Advertisement for a local demolition company
Decrepit warehouse deep in the Valley

The focus of this project on two workers, both now retired, Eddie Scantz and John Julien Fusco. John lived his whole life in Youngstown, Ohio. He was lucky enough not to be let go on Black Monday, but still witnessed the transformation of his hometown during this turbulent period. Eddie was let go during the second wave of layoffs.

Eddie Scantz

A trophy awarded to Eddi