Interview with Charles Butts

Once again, could you talk about Carl Stokes and his ability to organize coalitions and to organize a campaign?


I think, particularly for the sixties, he was somewhat unique ah, in the Black community among politicians, certainly at least from what I saw in Cleveland. Ah, in that he understood how to put together an organization with captains and lieutenants and sergeants and, and soldiers. Ah, by and large what one saw, both in politics and in business in the Black community and in the church was one person who might be a very strong person, but the, he would only--he or she would only have ah, someone under them that they could control. And so the Black politicians in 1965 did not support Carl Stokes, almost unanimously while he ended up having widespread support amongst the people. They really couldn't comprehend a campaign that would go citywide. And, and that was his uniqueness I think, to be able to visualize and then carry out an organization that w-went beyond the people that he immediately controlled.