Interview with Geraldine Williams

Okay. Can you talk a little bit about Stokes campaigning on the west side? What kind of reception would he receive when he was campaigning on the west side?


Well, I only remember distinctly once he went over there for a debate with Seth Taft at a high school on the west side. And, uh, uh, you could feel the tension when you walked in there. I mean, that was a sort of a hostile crowd and there weren't too many Blacks. Blacks don't go on the west side too much. Or didn't in those days. And, uh, Stokes got up and made his little speech and, uh, he introduced racism into the speech. And, uh, I'll never forget Taft saying, "Well, well, well. Look who has brought racism into the thing. And if you don't elect Carl Stokes I guess you're a racist." And we were scared to death. I mean, we wanted to get out of there because you could, uh, you could just feel the hostility of the people. And, and we wanted to kill Carl for you know, making that re--making the remarks that would bring on this remark from Seth, because that was his ve--shining hour. That was his best speech he'd ever made.