NewsBlack History Month


Cleveland Black History Trailblazers: The Stokes Brothers, legends of Ohio politics

Posted at 6:37 PM, Feb 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-08 18:37:47-05

CLEVELAND — All this month, News 5 is profiling trailblazers in Northeast Ohio Black History, including Carl and Louis Stokes, two brothers who made their mark in politics for the city they loved.

Carl Stokes became the first African American mayor of a major city when he won the Cleveland mayoral race in 1967.

Because of the Stokes victory, other Black politically-minded people came to Cleveland to study the political victory route.

Louis Stokes had a distinguished career as Ohio’s first African American U.S. congressman, representing the 21st district for 15 terms.

In 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president of the United States, the new president publicly stated that without Carl Stokes’ election in Cleveland in 1967, there could no Barack Obama in the White House in 2008.

The Stokes Brothers left a legendary legacy in Ohio and national politics, and Carl and Louis Stokes are truly trailblazers in Cleveland Black history.

Learn more about the Stokes Brothers from a News 5 story published in 2017, 50 years after Carl Stokes made history as Cleveland's first Black mayor.

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