They say you should play the hand you are dealt. What if you were dealt a hand that included being born in the Projects of Cleveland? Your father dies when you are only 3 and your mother has to work feverishly to support and raise you and your little brother.
When you are drafted into the Army during World War II, you are treated like a second class citizen because of the color of your skin - even as you wore the uniform of the United States.
This hand would lead you to be bitter or at least give up, right? For Louis Stokes and his brother Carl, these circumstances helped mold them into the successful men they became.
Louis Stokes argued the landmark Supreme Court Terry vs. State of Ohio case and won it, assuring his place in every law textbook. But as barriers were broken down, Carl and Louis Stokes went beyond their law practice into politics.
Carl Stokes became the first black mayor of a major US city and Louis Stokes became a prestigious Congressman for 30 years.
How did they do it? In this interview, Louis Stokes tells about Terry v Ohio, family life with brother Carl and his experiences with racism in the Army.
He also offers advice for young people and predicts how Cleveland and other cities will turn out.
For the complete story on Congressman Louis Stokes including dozens of photos with family, politician, sports stars and others read his profile on ClevelandSeniors.com.
June 19, 2007
Listen to this interview
Louis Stokes with Dan Hanson
Carl Stokes, mother Louise Stokes and Louis Stokes
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