Interview with Charles Butts

What did you think of Stokes' policy of not being labeled as a Black candidate, of making sure that he would campaign equally in the Black and White communities to try to downplay race in the campaign?


Well, I think there's two ways to answer how Carl Stokes ah, did not want to operate just as a Black candidate. On the one hand, he did campaign throughout the entire community, irrespective of the race of the neighborhoods. Um. Probably in the end he spent more time in the Black community but it was an effort to really try and evenly ah, balance it. On the other hand, ah, he certainly didn't shy away from talking about the issues that were important issues in the Black community. The thing is, of course, what was true then and I think is probably true now, is that issues that are important to urban citizens that happen to be Black are very often issues that are important to ones that don't happen to be Black. But he talked about issues that were very important to ah, to urban residents. And ah, I mean, he didn't shy away from them at all. And they played very well in the Black community. And they began to make some impact on the, on the west side as well.