Mayor Justin Bibb and others last week unveiled a new historical marker for Carl Stokes at City Hall, the latest installation of what will eventually be 11 markers around the city on the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail.
Cordell Stokes, Carl's son, was among the family and friends who gathered for the celebration, and he spoke about not only his father but his uncle, Louis Stokes, and the paths they blazed.
“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," he said. “You don’t get a Mayor Justin M. Bibb without a Carl B. Stokes.”
This week, Mayor Justin M. Bibb joined by members of the Stokes’ family and community leaders unveiled a historical marker located at City Hall in honor of Carl B. Stokes, the first Black Mayor of Cleveland. pic.twitter.com/suJETREatI— City of Cleveland (@CityofCleveland) June 9, 2022
The Cleveland Restoration Society in 2019 received a $50,000 grant from the National Park Service to develop the project, and sponsors have contributed funds for signs around the city memorializing sites associated with the civil rights struggles of African-Americans between 1954 and 1976.
"By marking sites in Cleveland where pivotal events took place in the fight for civil rights, our community will honor the courage and steadfastness of those who brought about legislative and social progress toward a more equitable future," the CRS says on the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail website, which includes a tour guide and detailed histories of the sites and key figures involved for each.
Other locations include Cory United Methodist Church, Glenville High School, Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, the Ludlow neighborhood, and Olivet Institutional Baptist Church.