Mayor Carl B. Stokes historical marker added outside Cleveland City Hall

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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601 Lakeside, outside City Hall
601 Lakeside, outside City Hall(WOIO)
Mayor Stokes,  the first African American of a major American city
Mayor Stokes, the first African American of a major American city(WOIO)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Today, outside of the building in which Mayor Carl B. Stokes once lead the city, a historical marker was unveiled outside Cleveland City Hall.

It gives a glimpse of the story of his rise from poverty to the highest seat in city government.

In 1967, Stokes was the first African American mayor elected to a major American city.

The Cleveland Restoration Society, along with dozens of other prominent people, including Mayor Stokes’ son Cordell Stokes, were on-hand for the unveiling.

The historical marker is the 10th in the city as part of the Modern Day Civil Rights Trail Movement.

His son, Cordell Stokes, spoke about his father as well as his uncle, Congressman Louis Stokes, and their rise from poverty to become mayor and congressman respectively, and their influence on others.

“Two boys growing up in the projects here in Cleveland and who just took the steps to do extraordinary things. Things we’ve never seen done before when you have two Black men, one at the city level, one at the congressional level.”

“You don’t get a Mayor Justin M. Bibb without a Carl B. Stokes.”

Current Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb spoke about the influence of one of his predecessors.

Mayor Stokes was a trailblazer that led to Harold Washington in Chicago, Tom Bradley in L.A., David Dinkins in New York City, Mike White in Cleveland, Ohio.

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