We understand the extraordinary power of collaboration. On the heels of the transcendent Violins of Hope Cleveland project, the Maltz Museum is a key partner in another major regional initiative. Led by Cuyahoga Community College’s Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Humanities Center, “Stokes: Honoring the Past, Inspiring the Future” brings our community together to celebrate the important legacies of Louis and Carl Stokes. More than 60 cultural, educational and government organizations throughout Northeast Ohio are leveraging their collective resources to examine the role the two barrier-breaking men played in advancing Cleveland and the nation. The project will also focus on the work that must continue.
The Museum has dedicated This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement to the Stokes brothers and included material about Cleveland’s civil rights milestones in the exhibition. While highlighting the accomplishments of Louis and Carl Stokes, we look at the long struggle to desegregate Cleveland Schools, remember the Hough uprising and spotlight the everyday people who are perpetuating the legacy of political and social activism in Cleveland.
This Light of Ours clearly illustrates that the Civil Rights Movement and the work of the Stokes brothers did not represent a moment in time. Those efforts are part of a long, ongoing struggle for equality. Now more than ever, we need to unite in our resolve to achieve equality and prosperity for ALL in our city. As Carl Stokes asserted, “We must believe in the ability of man to respond to the problems of his environment.”