Oscar W. Ritchie (1909-1967) was born in Hallandale, Florida. In 1933 he came to Massillon to work at Republic Steel. In 1938, he revived the Massillon Community Chorus, which quickly grew to more than 40 members. The choir was comprised of "mill workers, garage mechanics, house maids, and WPA laborers, according to the Canton Repository, 1941. They toured more than 50 cities in Ohio.
Oscar Ritchie Hall at Kent State University memorializes the school's first African American faculty member. At the time of his death he was acting chairman of the Sociology and Anthropology department. Oscar Ritchie Hall, dedicated in 1977 to recognize Ritchie for twenty-one years of service, houses the department of Pan-African Studies and the Center of Pan-African Culture. The university also established the Oscar Ritchie Memorial Scholarship Competition to encourage minority high school students to pursue higher education. Oscar W. Ritchie earned BS and MA degrees at Kent and a Ph.D. from New York University. A specialist in criminology and juvenile delinquency, he helped to establish the Portage County Family Counseling Service and co-authored two sociology books.