Carl B. Stokes and the Rise of Black Political Power

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University of Illinois Press, 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 242 pages
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As the first elected black mayor of a major U.S. city, Cleveland's Carl B. Stokes embodied the transformation of the civil rights movement from a vehicle of protest to one of black political power. In this wide-ranging political biography, Leonard N. Moore examines the convictions and alliances that brought Stokes to power. Impelled by the problems plaguing Cleveland's ghettos in the decades following World War II, Stokes and other Clevelanders questioned how the sit-ins and marches of the civil rights movement could correct the exclusionary zoning practices, police brutality, substandard housing, and de facto school segregation that African Americans in the country's northern urban centers viewed as evidence of their oppression. As civil unrest in the country's ghettos turned to violence in the 1960s, Cleveland was one of the first cities to heed the call of Malcolm X's infamous The Ballot or the Bullet speech. Understanding the importance of controlling the city's political system, Cleveland's blacks utilized their substantial voting base to put Stokes in office in 1967. Stokes was committed to showing the country that an African American could be an effective political lead
 

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Carl B. Stokes and the rise of Black political power

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In 1967, Carl Burton Stokes (1927-96) became the first African American elected a big-city mayor. His two four-year terms as Cleveland's leader (beginning in 1967 and 1971) marked not merely the ... Read full review

Contents

Cleveland Boy
9
The Making of a Mayor
26
Cleveland Now
61
Glenville
79
LeeSeville
100
Police Reform and Black Capitalism
114
Reelection
131
The General
144
Council Wars
155
The Twentyfirst District Caucus
178
Conclusion
191
Notes
199
Bibliography
227
Index
237
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Page 4 - The political philosophy of black nationalism means that the black man should control the politics and the politicians in his own community; no more. The black man in the black community has to be re-educated into the science of politics so he will know what politics is supposed to bring him in return. Don't be throwing out any ballots. A ballot is like a bullet. You don't throw your ballots until you...

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About the author (2003)

LEONARD N. MOORE is an associate professor of history and Director of the African and African American Studies Program at Louisiana State University.