CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Civil Rights Trail historic marker honoring Carl B. Stokes, the first black mayor of a major U.S. city, was unveiled outside Cleveland City Hall on Wednesday, according to the Cleveland Restoration Society which is at the origin of the project.
Cordell Stokes, the son of the late Carl B. Stokes, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, playwright Peter Lawson and Civil Rights Trail President Natoya Walker Minor were among those on hand to celebrate the addition of the historic marker to the center- city of Cleveland.
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Carl. The B. Stokes Historical Marker outside City Hall is among others that will be placed throughout Cleveland to honor pioneers and places that played central roles in the civil rights movement in the town. 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 mayor of Cleveland, Stokes “converted the energy of the civil rights movement into a model of black political power“.
According to CRS, this project is supported by a grant from the African American Civil Rights Grant Program, administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
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