During 2017, a year-long series of events will be held in Cleveland to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Carl Stokes’ historic election as the first black mayor of a major U.S. city.
The events, ranging from musical concerts to museum exhibits to speakers, will salute the contributions of Carl Stokes and his brother Louis, and are designed to inspire a new generation of community leaders.
More than 60 community partners are collaborating to present the events, said Lauren Onkey, in an interview with WKYC. Onkey is chair and dean of the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College.
Chief organizers of the “Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future” commemoration are Cuyahoga Community College, the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland Foundation, Greater Cleveland Partnership and the City Club of Cleveland. WKYC is a sponsor.
The Stokes tribute will examine the accomplishments of the two brothers while reflecting on their impact on political access and civil rights. Carl Stokes overturned racial barriers when he was elected as Cleveland’s first black mayor, while his brother Louis served 30 years in the U.S. House of Representatives.
A full calendar of events will be released in January. For more information, go to www.stokes50cle.com