CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Restoration Society honored the late Carl B. Stokes, the first Black mayor of a major American city, with a historical marker on the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail that was unveiled outside Cleveland City Hall Wednesday.
Cordell Stokes, the son of the late Carl B. Stokes, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, playwright Peter Lawson and Civil Rights Trail Chair Natoya Walker Minor were among those in attendance to celebrate the addition of the historical marker in Downtown Cleveland.
The Carl. B. Stokes historical marker outside city hall is among others that will be placed throughout Cleveland honoring the trailblazers and locations that were pivotal in the civil rights movement in the city. Among them are Cory United Methodist Church; Glenville High School; the intersection at East 79th and Hough; Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church; Olivet Institutional Baptist Church; and a location near the former home of Dorothy and John Pegg in the Ludlow neighborhood of Cleveland.
The marker reads, in part, "Despite challenges, including a shootout between Black Nationalists and Cleveland police, Stokes preserved and served two full terms before deciding not to run again in 1971." As Cleveland mayor, Stokes "transformed the energy of the civil rights movement into a model of Black political power."
According to CRS, this project is supported through a grant from the African American Civil Rights grant program as administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
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