Race, Politics and Cities: 40 Years After the Stokes Era

Submitted by Susan Miller on Wed, 06/11/2008 - 08:17.
06/19/2008 - 16:00
06/19/2008 - 18:30
About This Forum

In 1967, when Carl Stokes became the first black Mayor of a major American city, Cleveland was still a top-10 city, with a population of more than 750,000 – down from it’s peak of close to 1 million in 1950 but nearly 300,000 more than today. At that time, about 35% of Cleveland’s population was black. Nearly one in five whites voted for Stokes.

During Stokes’ first year in office, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy were shot. And Cleveland, like many cities around the nation, erupted in riots. In the aftermath, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed the Kerner Commission to investigate the causes of the riots. In March 1968, they reported, “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white, separate and unequal. Discrimination and segregation have long permeated much of American life, they now threaten the future of every American.”

Today more than 53% of Cleveland’s population is black. We remain one of the most racially and economically segregated cities in America.

This forum will look at the national context in which Carl Stokes was elected Mayor of Cleveland, the current state of race, politics and cities, and what still needs to change in America's cities.

Keynote Speaker

Leonard Moore, Associate Professor and Assistant Vice-President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin.
Moore, a Cleveland Heights Native, is the author of Carl B. Stokes and The Rise of Black Political Power, University of Illinois Press, (2002). He is a popular speaker, and has provided analysis on television and radio broadcasts, including ESPN, CBS's 60 Minutes, CNN, National Public Radio, The Tom Joyner Morning Show, ESPN Radio, Sporting News Radio, Fox Sports Radio.

  • Moderator: Mansfield Frazier, local freelance writer and author of the book From Behind the Wall. He writes the column, Straight Outta Mansfield for Cool Cleveland.
  • Norman Krumholz, Professor, Levin College of Urban Affairs and former Planning Director of the City of Cleveland from 1969-1979 under Mayors Carl B. Stokes, Ralph J. Perk, and Dennis Kucinich.
  • W. Dennis Keating, Distinguished Professor, Levin College and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.
  • Ronnie Dunn, Assistant Professor, Levin College.
  • Roldo Bartimole, journalist and former editor and publisher of Point of View (a small newsletter of Cleveland political content) and a columnist for Cool Cleveland/Cleveland Leader/Lakewood Buzz and a member of the realneo community


CSU Levin College
1717 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH
United States
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