Benjamin S. Stefanski II was born in Garfield Heights and graduated from Case Western Reserve University and the University of Michigan. He served as Utilities Director for Carl Stokes and worked to combat pollution in Lake Erie, as well as developing the Cleveland regional sewer system.
The Rev. Dr. Joan Campbell was born in Youngstown and is an ordained pastor, who has committed her life to service and activism working with important leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. She worked to organize voters for Carl Stokes' mayoral campaign.She is also the mother of Jane Campbell, the first female mayor of Cleveland, Ohio.
The Rev. Emmitt Theophilus Caviness is a native of Marshall, Texas. He is the pastor of Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church and the president of the Cleveland chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Rev. Caviness served as a commissioner in the Carl Stokes mayoral administration.
Dee Perry spent 40 years as a Cleveland radio broadcaster. She hosted programs on Cleveland's public radio station, WCPN, where she was a leader in promoting the Arts. She has conducted more than 10,000 interviews and was the lead interviewer for the Stokes Oral History Project.
Michael White is from the Glenville neighborhood, of Cleveland, Ohio. While studying at The Ohio State University, he was studen union president. White was campaign manager for Louis Stokes' Congressional Campaign, and also served on the Cleveland City Council between 1978 and 1984. White was mayor of Cleveland from 1990 to 2002.
Norman Krumholz was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He served as the City of Cleveland's planning director under Mayors Carl Stokes, Ralph Perk, and Dennis Kucinich. He also led the Cleveland Center for Neighborhood Development from 1979 to 1984 and served on the Cleveland City Planning Commission between 2006 and 2014.
Betty Pinkney and her husband, Arnold, were long time advocates for Carl and Louis Stokes. Arnold helped with Louis Stoke's election to Congress and was a major strategist for the Democratic party. Arnold Pinkney, an insurance executive, also ran Jesse Jackson's national campaign for president in 1984.
Robert Madison was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1923. He was a decorated soldier during World War II and graduated from Western Reserve University and Harvard. Mr. Madison was the first African American to become a registered architect in the state of Ohio. He opened his firm in Cleveland in 1954 and has worked on major projects locally and worldwide. He served on Carl Stokes initial mayoral election campaign as a speech writer.
Walter Beach III was born in Pontiac, Michigan, in 1933. Before attending college, Beach served in the U.S. Air force, spending three years in Germany as a cryptographer. He graduated from Central Michigan University and played defensive back in both the Canadian and National Football Leagues, including with the the Cleveland Browns during the team's 1964 Championship season. He served as the director for Countil for Youth Opportunities during Carl Stokes' mayoral administration. He is a lawyer and author.
Albert G. Ratner is a native Clevelander. He is an avid philanthropist and the co-chairman of Forest City Realty Trust, a nationwide real estate development firm. For twenty years he was the CEO of his family owned business, Forest City Enterprises, Inc. Mr. Ratner discusses his upbringing, particularly growing up in various East Side suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, during the 1930s and '40s and his experiences with racial integration and conflict that occurred following WWII. Mr. Ratner also talks about Lou Stokes and his legacy.
Rev. Samuel Tidmore, IV, was an aide to Louis Stokes during his early years in Congress. Rev. Tidmore was born in Decatur, Illinois, in 1938, but moved to Cleveland, Ohio, as a child. He graduated from John Adams High School and attended the Ohio State University. He is a former NFL linebacker who played for the Cleveland Browns in 1962 and 1963. He later became a business consultant and an owner of fast food franchises. During the late 1970s, he served as chapter vice president of the Cleveland chapter of Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), a project begun by Rev. Jesse Jackson.
Sister Alicia Alvarado and Jose Feliciano are both active in the Hispanic community. Sister Alvarado was born in Puerto Rico, immigrating to the United States when she was 6 years old. She received degrees from Cleveland State University, Case Western Reserve University, and Kent State. And she entered the the Sisters of St. Dominic of Akron in 1979. Sister Alvarado was only junior in High School when she worked in a storefront campaign office to help Carl Stokes run for mayor.
Mr. Feliciano made history by becoming Cleveland's first Hispanic chief prosecuting attorney. He was also born in Puerto Rico and moved to Cleveland in 1952, to grow up on the near West side of Cleveland, in what is now known as Ohio City. Mr. Feliciano has been involved with the Greater Cleveland Partnership and the Commission on Economic Inclusion.
Karamu House was founded in 1915 in Cleveland, Ohio, by Russell W. and Rowena Woodham Jelliffe, in conjunction with the Second Presbyterian Church Men's Club, as the Neighborhood Association (later as the Playhouse Settlement), a settlement house promoting interracial activities and cooperation through the performing arts. The Jelliffes saw a need to provide activities and social services for the city's growing African American population, in order to assist in their transition from rural Southern life to an urban setting. The Playhouse Settlement was renamed Karamu Theater in 1927. By 1941, the entire settlement had taken the name Karamu House. The Dumas Dramatic Club was created to support and encourage interest and activities in the performing arts. In 1922, the theater troupe's name was changed to The Gilpin Players in honor of noted African American actor Charles Gilpin. During the 1920s and 1930s, works by many accomplished playwrights were produced at Karamu, including those of Zora Neale Hurston, Eugene O'Neill, and Langston Hughes, whose career was launched at Karamu. In 1939, the house was destroyed by fire. Rebuilding was not completed until 1949. The Jelliffes' mission of an interracial institution continued until the late 1960s, when, under the leadership of new director Kenneth Snipes, Karamu's mission became one of promoting African-American theater and plays specifically about the African-American experience. During this time a professional troupe of actors was formed. In 1982, Karamu formally returned to its original mission as an interracial organization. The collection consists of individual and group portraits of Karamu House founders Russell and Rowena Jelliffe, administrators and staff, actors and performers, and community figures. Group portraits and views depict activities at Karamu, including classes, art exhibits, meetings, ceremonies, choral groups, clubs, and sports teams. Views of Karamu House facilities, buildings, and grounds, including photographs of the original buildings of the Playhouse Settlement, are included, as are views of plays performed. Notable individuals depicted include Garrett E. Morgan, Charles Gilpin, Al Fann, Dr. Ralph Bunche, Ida B. Wells, Eubie Blake, Noble Sissle, Harry E. Davis, James Weldon Johnson, Perry Como, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ruby Dee, Raymond St. Jacques, Archibald MacLeish, Judge Charles White, Rev. Earl Preston, Charles Sallee, Carl Stokes, Louis Stokes, Jane Addams, Emily Laster, Wilhelmina Roberson, Dakota Staton, Harriet Tubman, and Julian Mayfield. Groups depicted include the Keystone Club, Golden Age Club, Cheerio Circle, the Karamu Dancers, Camp Karamu, and the Karamu Nursery School.
Judah Rubinstein was an archivist, historian, author and research associate for the Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, and a well-known authority on Cleveland Jewish history. He helped to establish the Cleveland Jewish Archives at the Western Reserve Historical Society in 1976. He provided research for a number of books on Cleveland Jewish history and co-authored the book "Merging traditions: Jewish life in Cleveland." The collection consists of 4000 black and white images presented as prints, slides, contact sheets, and negatives, all relating to Cleveland, Ohio, Jewish history. Of note are businesses, public and religious schools, synagogues, theaters, and communal activities in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, particularly in the Woodland, Glenville, and Kinsman neighborhoods. Images of Jewish holiday and life cycle celebrations are also found here. Also of note are portraits of prominent individuals and families, including Moses Alsbacher, Alfred A. Benesch, Aaron and Moses Halle, Maurice Maschke, David N. Myers, Samuel Rocker, Dr. Marcus Rosenwasser, Sigmund Schlesinger, Rose Pastor Stokes, Simson Thorman, Leo Weidenthal, Leon Wiesenthal, and Martha Wolfenstein. Rabbis and cantors represented in this collection include Gustavos Cohen, Jacob Frommer, Benjamin Gittelsohn, Samuel Goldman, Isadore Kalisch, Arthur J. Lelyveld, David Leby, Abba Hillel Silver, Daniel Jeremy Silver, and Samuel Wohl. While some of the photographs here can also be found in PG. 186, Jewish Heritage Exhibit photographs, and in "Merging traditions : Jewish life in Cleveland" (1978 ed.), the contact sheets and negatives contain many images that are new.
Jack Russell (1915-1979) was a Cleveland, Ohio, councilman, 1943-1971, council president, 1955-1963, and Democratic majority leader who was born Paul Ruschak, but changed his name in the 1930s. Russell was raised in the Hungarian-American community of Cleveland's Buckeye Road neighborhood and published newspapers in that area, including the Buckeye Press. He was councilman from the 16th ward from 1943 to 1971 and operated several businesses, including the Ohio Fire Protection Systems. Russell began the Night in Budapest celebration in 1957, which commemorated the Hungarian Freedom Fighters of 1956 and highlighted Hungarian culture and Hungarian-Americans. The collection consists of photographs, slides, negatives, and films pertaining to the political career of Jack P. Russell. Included are photographs of Cleveland City Council, both individual portraits and views and including the City Council softball team, ca. 1940s-1960s; local Cleveland politicians, including Thomas A. Burke, Anthony Celebrezze, Ray T. Miller, and Carl Stokes, often pictured with Russell; national political figures, usually taken during campaign events in Cleveland, including Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Adlai Stevenson, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon B. Johnson; Cleveland Ward 16 political events; Democratic Party events, including rallies, picnics, dinners, and campaign photographs; city of Cleveland events, including park and playground dedications and ribbon cuttings, including several of the Port of Cleveland; friends, family, and associates of Russell; travel photographs to Hungary and other destinations; exteriors of the Ohio Fire Protection Systems office and Russell's campaign headquarters; and many photographs depicting the Night in Budapest event.