In this 2006 interview, Carmel Whiting talks about growing up in Washington D.C. and segregation of the schools and businesses. She married Cleveland native Elmer Whiting and talks about their Shaker Heights residence, segregation, and racism. There is a great deal of discussion about Carl and Louis Stokes throughout the interview including their personal relationship and the Stoke’s legacy. Whiting talks about the impact of the Hough Riots and other topics such as civic education, local history and community involvement.


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Whiting, Carmel (interviewee)


Weaver, Valerie (interviewer)


St. Clair - Superior Neighborhood



Document Type

Oral History


44 minutes


Carmel Whiting [00:00:02] You want her to speak now?

Valerie Weaver [00:00:06] Good morning, Carmel. We're here interviewing today. Carmel Whiting. It's our pleasure to have you, and I want to thank you for coming. We're doing a segment for Lou and Carl Stokes for the historical society, and I'm very happy that you're going to be a part of that. I've got a couple of questions just to start off to kind of like do, to get to know you a little bit. And number one would be, where did you grow up?

Carmel Whiting [00:00:32] Well, I'm very happy to be here and to participate, and I hope whatever I have to say helps in your project. I was born in Washington, DC, many years ago. In fact, to be exact, I'm not ashamed to tell you, that was back in 1924. I grew up basically on Rhode Island Avenue. I attended Lucretia Mott Elementary School, which is no longer in existence because Howard University needed that parking space, so they destroyed the building a few years ago. I then attended Shaw Junior High, which is now a place for senior citizens. And then the next place I attended was Howard university. It so happens that during my tenure in school, all the schools I attended were for blacks only because we were segregated. And interestingly enough, when I attended Howard, I had to pass white schools to get to Howard University. I think that's one reason we were healthier in those days. We did a lot of walking.

Valerie Weaver [00:01:46] So growing up in DC, what was it like living in DC for African Americans during that time? We're talking about a time of segregation. You're talking about a time when there were no voting rights, no civil rights. What was it like as an African American?

Carmel Whiting [00:02:03] Well, basically, I think most parents realized what we could do and we couldn't do, and they protected their children. We lived in groups, which wasn't too bad because many of our friends lived with us, and we were told what we could do and we couldn't do. In those days, you didn't question your parents like you do today. So a lot was accepted. And I want you to know that. An interesting thing that happened in, well, I knew it happened at Howard because it was discussed. Teachers who were from the South were allowed to get scholarships and go to schools of the North, and they got their degrees and they came back and they were very proud. So they did a lot to encourage us and to give us the best education.

Valerie Weaver [00:02:53] Do you remember a time, though, that you were afraid as an African American, perhaps, to go to a certain restaurant or a certain store?

Carmel Whiting [00:03:07] Well, it wasn't so much that I was afraid. I was told which things we could do and we couldn't do. We could not try on hats in any of the stores downtown, and in many cases, we could not, well, we couldn't attend the white theaters. We had three theaters up on U Street where blacks attended. In addition to that, the Howard shows were played. That's where they had all the performers, the black performers. Now, in some cases, if you had black students who were fair enough, they could take a chance and attend the white theaters, but they were taking a chance.

Valerie Weaver [00:03:59] Did you ever feel at a time that you wanted to vote, but knew that you couldn't vote? How did you feel about that?

Carmel Whiting [00:04:06] Well, I always regretted that, because when I left Howard in Washington, I was of an age when I could vote. And to this day, I resent the fact that Americans and black Americans cannot vote in Washington, DC. I've been very disappointed. I follow the news and I ask friends there, and it's not fair. That's the capital. But, you know, the politicians are afraid because you have a lot of educated blacks, and they feel that if they give us that opportunity, the polls would show a different result. And that's my feeling. I really feel badly about that.

Valerie Weaver [00:04:53] So what brought you to Cleveland?

Carmel Whiting [00:04:55] Well, my dear husband, Elmer Whiting. We met at Howard and we dated. And he loved Cleveland. I knew from the beginning that he was not going to live anywhere but Cleveland, Ohio. And he was a fellow who told me of his plans and what he wanted to do, but he never mentioned me. However, later on, I guess when he got his nerve up, he said to me, well, you know what I'm interested in and what I'd like to do, and I'd like for you to join me and marry me. And I was thrilled because he was a fellow who had a vision. And interesting enough, he one time wanted to be an actuary. And I felt embarrassed because I didn't know. But you don't just keep it a secret. I told him, know what an actuary is? What is it? And he explained. So he's always been interested in accounting and the field of mathematics.

Valerie Weaver [00:05:54] Was Elmer a Clevelander?

Carmel Whiting [00:05:55] Oh, definitely. And he told everybody he was a Cleveland[er]. He loved Cleveland, and he worked diligently to improve the rights of blacks in Cleveland.

Valerie Weaver [00:06:09] Where did he live growing up in Cleveland?

Carmel Whiting [00:06:11] Well, he lived on East 85th Street off of Cedar. And in those days, I have to share this with you, if you did anything wrong, by the time you got home, the neighbors told on you, and you really got it. Not in today's climate. Parents resent people criticizing their children, which is regrettable. Then they didn't move until just before we married.

Valerie Weaver [00:06:42] Did you go to a predominantly African American high school?

Carmel Whiting [00:06:44] Oh, definitely. He attended Bolton Elementary School, Rawlins and Audubon junior high schools, and then John Adams High School. He graduated in June of 1940 in college prep course from John Adams?

Valerie Weaver [00:07:04] Yes. And he worked on, you said, 85th street?

Carmel Whiting [00:07:08] Yes. 2201 East 85th. I sent many a card and a letter to that address. That's the reason I still recall.

Valerie Weaver [00:07:16] Now, did his family live in that area only because other areas in Cleveland were not open to African Americans?

Carmel Whiting [00:07:25] Well, I think it was a combination that was what they could afford. And at that time, that was a community that was well kept. And you had hardworking people. You had a mixture of people who were professional and business.

Valerie Weaver [00:07:41] So what year was it that you married and came to Cleveland?

Carmel Whiting [00:07:44] We married in 1946, and we lived with his in-laws at the time, and we did not live on that street at that time. They had moved to the area now, which is. Hmm. Well, I can't think of this. All right.

Valerie Weaver [00:08:20] Where did you and Elmer own your first home? What area?

Carmel Whiting [00:08:25] We actually bought the home that we moved in with my in-laws, which was the duplex. My brother-in-law and Elmer and his wife, we bought the house together, and then my in laws moved on in a condo. Later, Elmer and I decided that when our first child went to Miles Elementary School and returned home with all A's, that he needed to be challenged. So we decided to move to Shaker because we knew they had a good school. And that was when a problem occurred, because at that time, they were not allowing blacks to move in across the tracks. We lived on Van Aken. 2201 East 85th street was where he lived originally, but we moved there, and during that period of time, it was difficult.

Valerie Weaver [00:09:26] Which year was this that you moved to Van Aken?

Carmel Whiting [00:09:31] The date escapes me at the present time. However, at that time, we had three children. Would you say was, and it so happened.

Valerie Weaver [00:09:38] Would you say was the early sixties?

Carmel Whiting [00:09:42] Yes. In addition to that, we decided to build a home, and that was not expected because most of our friends were living in Ludlow. And anytime you told my husband you can't do something because you're black, that made him fight more. So as a result, we have a friend who went with him to inspect the house that was being built, because we didn't tell anyone we were building that home, not even his parents. We used my mother's maiden name, Selman, because basically it was a Jewish community. So that's what happened. And we did move in.

Valerie Weaver [00:10:28] So you were the first blacks to move on Van Aken, north of Van Aken.

Carmel Whiting [00:10:33] Right.

Valerie Weaver [00:10:34] And how were you accepted among your neighbors?

Carmel Whiting [00:10:37] Well, I think there were two. One on either side. There was a vacant lot next to us, but the person who lived the closest to us resented our moving, and they did move. We didn't have any incident with them. And then there was a doctor who moved on the other side of the empty lot. And it so happened that he questioned us, and the people thought we only were able to move for one or two reasons. One, either the NAACP was sponsoring us, or there was some other way that we got in, but that wasn't true. So.

Valerie Weaver [00:11:23] So what was it like living in Cleveland during the civil rights movement, 1964, 1965, during the time that Carl was beginning to run for mayor? What was it like living in Cleveland for African Americans?

Carmel Whiting [00:11:38] Well, let me share some background on that. At that time, my husband's office was on East 105, and it so happens that because Elmer at that time was a CPA. And by the way, although Elmer was, he was in business, and he qualified to go and take the exam, a professor from Case Western Reserve had written a letter asking them to allow him to take the test. So he had to go a day ahead of time and be interviewed by four men. And my husband was a constant smoker, regrettably. But I think that's the way he took out his frustrations, he smoked, and they had him to put the cigarette out. They questioned him in detail. And then Elmer said, as he wrote me a letter and said, one of the fellows says, I think this is the young man that the professor has asked us to interview, to allow to sit. And they did allow him to take the exam. And the neat thing is, he passed the exam the very first time he took it.

Valerie Weaver [00:12:46] What exam was this?

Carmel Whiting [00:12:47] This was for the CPA, certified public accountant. And in addition to that, he had helped many other people along the way and instructed them in terms of what they needed to do to be prepared. So that was a big step in the right direction. Now, because Elmer was brilliant, and I say this with all modesty, Elmer was always willing to help his fellow man. So as a result, the white community was not accepting blacks in jobs that were significant or professional. So the Urban League constantly called on Elmer to go, and he was qualified, to apply for jobs that they claimed they couldn't find any qualified blacks to hire. As a result, he was like the person they always called on. And in many cases, he opened doors for others. But Elmer never talked about this. I'm sharing this with you because Elmer never bragged about anything he did. However, that was true. Now, during that period of time, Stokes, as you know, was running to be mayor of Cleveland, and Elmer worked very closely with Carl. It so happens that both Carl and his brother Lou and Elmer were all Clevelanders, so they knew each other, and they were interested in the struggles. And I must confess that many times there were things Elmer did and all he never told me because he was not a braggadocious person. He'd get frustrated, and that's when he would share a lot of things with me. And I taught school because we definitely needed two incomes. As I have said to friends, when people had limited incomes, they would pay their house note or rent, their food, the doctor, and the CPA or the accountant was the last one to be paid. So we needed the money, and I worked without any regret. I think I grew because of this experience. However, when Carl decided to run for mayor, Elmer was asked to serve on this committee, and he did. And it's interesting, Carl appreciated the work that Elmer did, and he sent him a lovely portrait of himself with the four headlines concerning the race. And finally, they admitted that Carl had won over Taft. However, we were leaving and going away, so we never saw this article until we came back into town. We had planned a vacation, and everyone thought Elmer would probably be on Carl's team. But, you see, Elmer was very interested in his field, so he refused to accept an offer to serve on his team. But he was always supportive. Now, Elmer attended Cleveland State University, and at that time, it wasn't Cleveland State. It was, I think, John Marshall. However, he received a lot of accolades from that. And during the period that he was struggling, you could not be a CPA and attorney and use the same stationery. So his office was one in which he gave one address as a CPA and another one as an accountant. And he was complaining to a fellow classmate from Cleveland State University who had the same problem. And he explained to Elmer, there's an organization that just got started, and they're fighting that because they say it's not fair. If you worked and earned the degrees, you ought to be able to have one address. So as a result, Elmer and I went to our first meeting, which was in Florida, stayed at the Fountainbleau. And surprising to me, one of the fellows and his wife, after the session was over, came up to us and said, you know, we admire your husband for joining this organization, because we are Jewish. And years ago, they would not allow Jews to be a part of this which was a surprise to me. Elmer became very interested in the organization, mainly because Elmer was always a student, learning more. And when he went to the sessions, he always attended all of the meetings. So he qualified, and he eventually became president of the organization. And recently they have accepted me as a member, a part of. Of it, not as a CPA attorney, because that's not my field, but I'm still involved. And they did set up a scholarship in Elmer's name at Cleveland State, and I think we're only the 8th person to receive the scholarship. Started out $1,000. It's now up to $1,500.

Valerie Weaver [00:18:07] Congratulations. Now, you mentioned Carl and Lou Stokes. How well did you know the Stokes brothers?

Carmel Whiting [00:18:14] Well, we knew them very well and knew their wives. In fact, Carl's wife, one of his wives, she was in the Barrister's Wives with me, and we had children and shared a lot. Elmer was a boater. That was his hobby. So Carl was often a guest on our boat. And I'll never forget the time we took the boat to Canada, and Carl urged Elmer to run. Well, I always believed Elmer could do anything. So as a result, he bet all of $5. But Carl won because he did outrun my husband. Lou and his wife. We were not as close, but we knew each other. And I think I became closer as the years passed. He has a lovely family, and I don't really know, except one time when, after, I think Lou and Elmer met one Saturday in his office, because they were concerned about the black caucus and Elmer, I don't know what they discussed, because, as I told you, Elmer did not share with me much of what went on, if it didn't concern me. However, he didn't have to worry, because Elmer maneuvered and worked. And as you know, Lou Stokes won that particular position. And with a black. Yeah. Congressman.

Valerie Weaver [00:20:06] Now, do you find that there's a difference between Carl and Lou Stokes, their personalities?

Carmel Whiting [00:20:12] Definitely.

Valerie Weaver [00:20:13] And how so?

Carmel Whiting [00:20:14] Well, Carl was the jovial one and got along with people extremely well, more vivacious, and was known throughout the community. However, his brother was quiet and, I guess, dedicated and whatnot, but on a low key. It so happens they had respect for each other. And I know when. I don't know if you know it or not, but Elmer was urged to merge his practice with Ernst and Young. Well, originally, it was Ernst and Ernst, and it took him two years to decide to move on and to accept it. I was extremely upset about this because I knew financially it would help us, but I was wise enough to know that the decision was still Elmer's. Unlike many women I know, money is not everything. But Elmer worried about whether or not what would happen with his black clients who could not afford the fees that the big firms requested. And it so happens that that was something he had to settle. And after two years, he finally decided he would join the firm. But he was not joining it without knowing where his staff and all were going to be. And they accepted many of them. And surprisingly to Elmer, the black fellows who worked for Elmer would not go downtown to work. Now, during Carl Stokes's tenure, he had Elmer working on different projects and so forth. Elmer was extremely disappointed at the blacks. But one of the things that was a reward is that three of the fellows who worked for him started their own business. It was interesting because at that time, they not only interviewed Elmer, but they interviewed me, too. But maybe they do that among the whites, I don't know, but I know I was interviewed and passed with flying colors.

Valerie Weaver [00:22:45] What can you tell me about. Did you work on Carl's campaign for mayor?

Carmel Whiting [00:22:49] No, that was Elmer's realm. Somebody had to take care of the family, and that was my need and my responsibility. So I was a great supporter. If Elmer asked me to do something, I would. Now, I want to explain or tell you of an incident that really hurt me. After Elmer became a partner with the firm, there was one couple we knew very well who had a paving industry. Well, it was his father's, and he gained it. And at a party we were invited to during the holidays, she approached me with a group of people, because Elmer was in another room, and complained about Elmer joining Ernst and Ernst. And I was amazed. She was the only person who ever expressed disappointment. And I was usually the quiet one in the family. And I said to her, well, I don't know why you're so upset. Your husband has a big company, and he's never asked my husband to do any of his accounting. And with that, the room became silent. And I explained to Elmer after the party was over, what happened. So you find that you have people of all walks of life who approve or disapprove. But at that time, I felt I needed to defend Elmer's actions, and we had no regrets with him making the move. Now, the person who followed Elmer in the firm, because Elmer was never wanted to be the only one, was a young man by the name of Theodore Long. They become very good friends of ours. And on one occasion, Elmer and Ted went to Washington and had a conference with Lou. And I talked with him recently to ask him about it, and he said it was in his office that this occurred, and I was pleased with that. We were never pushy people, but whenever there was a need, we would try to move in and help wherever we could. Now, let me explain one thing that happened. When we moved on Van Aken. It so happened that soon after that, we went to a trip to Washington, DC, took the children to visit my parents, because that had been planned a long time. However, that's when the riots began, and we were extremely upset about that.

Valerie Weaver [00:25:18] Referring to the Hough riots?

Carmel Whiting [00:25:19] The Hough riots. Now, our property was not in any way endangered or destroyed, but when we came back, Elmer followed through by working with the group to try to bring peace and order to the community.

Valerie Weaver [00:25:34] What group was this that he tried to work with?

Carmel Whiting [00:25:36] Well, mainly Carl Stokes, because at the time he was the mayor, and there were various groups who were conscientious about restoring order in the community.

Valerie Weaver [00:25:51] Do you remember what the atmosphere was like in Cleveland during the time of the Hough riots?

Carmel Whiting [00:25:56] Oh, it was horrible. And you had policemen who were against blacks, and they were doing miserable things and intimidating and actually being very cruel and using those sticks they have and so forth. Elmer was no way injured, but it was a sad, trying time.

Valerie Weaver [00:26:18] Did you go through the Hough area after?

Carmel Whiting [00:26:24] Well, you know, I was a school teacher, and as a result, one of the schools at that time, I had become supervisor of a program, and I had a lot of schools in the area, and Hough mainly was one of my schools, and I would visit them. I was not afraid as such, and yet I was not one to stir up any commotion. I always tried to bring peace and calm and reassurance, you know, to the community, and I did what I could, but as I said, I was limited in terms of what I could do.

Valerie Weaver [00:27:06] Did your husband have an office in the Hough area?

Carmel Whiting [00:27:09] Well, his office was on East 105. I don't know whether they call that technically the Hough area per se, but it was borderline.

Valerie Weaver [00:27:20] Was it affected by the Hough riots?

Carmel Whiting [00:27:22] Well, as I said, he worked with the people and so forth, but his building was not destroyed in any way.

Valerie Weaver [00:27:31] Do you remember seeing any of the destroyed buildings?

Carmel Whiting [00:27:34] Oh, definitely. It was horrible. Some were burned out, and it was just tragic and very upsetting, truly.

Valerie Weaver [00:27:43] Did you ever see the National Guards or army tanks?

Carmel Whiting [00:27:46] You know, I'm not one to run into horrible situations, but what I saw were advertised to paper. I guess the one thing that upset me was when my youngest son saw a newspaper, and they were. The hose were sprayed on the young children and whatnot. And he questioned me about it. It's very difficult to explain mistreatment, be it black or white, to your children. But somehow you find the strength to tell what's happening and what's right and what's wrong and urge and encourage your children to do the right things.

Valerie Weaver [00:28:25] You know, Carl and Lou Stokes, both are legendary men.

Carmel Whiting [00:28:29] Definitely.

Valerie Weaver [00:28:30] And they have opened the doors for many people, African Americans. What comes to mind? What do you think they've contributed most to Cleveland and as a result, to African Americans and as a result, to our country?

Carmel Whiting [00:28:47] Well, basically, I think not only to Cleveland, that's where they were born, and we recognize that. And as you know, Lou and his wife and family lived in Silver Spring, Maryland. And so it's a situation where they have done so much worldwide, and that beautiful library was built in his honor. I had the pleasure of attending that. And Carl was conscientious about his own city, but worldwide, he had done things, you know, for the sake of blacks. And I'm hoping that in today's climate, we continue to pull together and work, and we have to include other people. It's not just blacks, but it's other races, too. I pray a lot, and I try to influence. Now, one of the key things that I notice among our young adults who are professionally trained, they often share too much about what happens in their jobs and so forth. There are some things that are private and you don't share with the community, even though you may be upset. I think you have to work it through, and that's my philosophy, but mine is not the only philosophy.

Valerie Weaver [00:30:24] Did you ever have an opportunity to meet Martin Luther King while he was here in Cleveland campaigning?

Carmel Whiting [00:30:31] No, I did not. I regret that. However, once when I received a scholarship to Emory University, I had an opportunity to visit his residence and whatnot, and I worked on writing thank you notes and so forth. And I have a letter of appreciation from his wife for the work that I did. But I did not get to meet either he or his wife in person, which I regret now. I must share that, even though that's true. My mother walked with the group when they were in Washington, and my children couldn't get over the fact that their grandmother marched in that parade. But as I said, Washington. Right. But I did not.

Valerie Weaver [00:31:26] So when was it that you had your first opportunity to vote? Was it in Cleveland, or did you actually first vote in Washington, DC?

Carmel Whiting [00:31:34] Well, you know, I could never vote in Washington, so my first opportunity to vote was in Cleveland, Ohio. And the first time I was allowed, I did, and I. And I vote every time there's a time to vote. I never miss. I guess I feel that it's a sacrifice that all of us should make. And I regret that some people give up so easily and don't vote. If you look around the world are countries where people can't vote and they die over it. It just seems so negligent to me for people not to vote and encourage.

Valerie Weaver [00:32:11] Were you able to vote for Carl Stokes? Were you living in Cleveland?

Carmel Whiting [00:32:14] Oh, definitely. Definitely.

Valerie Weaver [00:32:17] I didn't know if you were living in Cleveland or Shaker during the time.

Carmel Whiting [00:32:19] No, we were living in Cleveland at the time. That was many years ago.

Valerie Weaver [00:32:24] So how did it feel to vote for an African American?

Carmel Whiting [00:32:28] Wonderful. Wonderful. And more important, I felt extremely happy that Elmer worked so closely with him and was able to do so much. So were you.

Valerie Weaver [00:32:41] Did you attend any of his parties afterwards?

Carmel Whiting [00:32:45] Well, as I said, we had a planned vacation out of the country, so we didn't even realize he had technically won, you see? So we were here to vote for him. But we didn't learn about that till after we returned, and so we did not attend any parties to celebrate his winning.

Valerie Weaver [00:33:09] How would you describe Carl as mayor?

Carmel Whiting [00:33:14] I think Carl's heart was in the right place, and he did everything he could to help. He opened many doors. And it was surprising to me that some of the older people said, oh, he'll never be able to do X, Y and Z. But he did. He was, well, he had a way with him, and he knew. You see, being born here, you couldn't fool Carl because he knew what the climate was like, and it was. It made all of us very proud of him.

Valerie Weaver [00:33:52] And so you think he made a difference for the city?

Carmel Whiting [00:33:54] Oh, definitely. There were so many openings, and it gave people an idea of what could be done. And he did. He helped wherever he could.

Valerie Weaver [00:34:06] And his contemporaries, his friends, his social circle, were they all receiving of him?

Carmel Whiting [00:34:14] I think for the most part. If there were those who weren't, it was not broadcast, which was good. But I think for the most part, all of us were proud, not only in Cleveland, but worldwide. It was history in the making, and I was glad that we were able to share in that experience. I don't remember whether I mentioned to you or not, but. Well, I think I did bring that up. So go on. Oh, I'll tell you something that dates me, but it's still during that period of time in the sixties. Elmer decided to go for his masters at Case Western Reserve. And years ago, Case Western Reserve was not receptive to black enrollment. I know because I got my master's there, and the work I did at Howard and was presented to me at Howard was of a higher caliber than it was at Case Western. Western Reserve. At that time they called it Case Western Reserve. In the meantime, when Elmer decided to go for his masters, he had taken all his coursework, and there was a young fella who was. I don't remember where he was from. I think it was one of the New England states, and he had a rough time getting his PhD. And Elmer was a good writer, and he had written his dissertation. And no matter what Elmer did, he always found fault with it, to the point that he was extremely frustrating. However, there was a professor from one of the southern universities came to town, and Elmer had him to reread his paper. He found nothing wrong with it, and Elmer presented it, it must have been for the fifth time. And finally, Elmer approached the professor and said, why are you giving me such a hard time? I've done everything. I've made changes, I made corrections. And still you seem to agree with what I've said in my dissertation. And in those days, whites didn't care whether you liked it or not. They told it just like it was or how they felt. He says, I had a hard time getting my PhD, and you're the first person that I have been assigned to who is working for a masters. So I decided whoever came along, they were going to get a rough time. And the only way Elmer could get his degree was to take two more courses. And to this day, I believe Elmer would not write a book because of the frustration and whatnot. And he was an excellent writer, and I regret that he never wrote a book because he could have told it better than I. But I want you to know that things have a way of changing. There's a woman by the name of Theresa A. Hammond who wrote a book, a white collar profession, African American, certified public accountant since 1921. Now, it doesn't say it in the title, but she referred to blacks, and Elmer is represented in this book. I went to a book signing she had in Washington, DC. She teaches at Boston U, and I received a letter from people who are connected with the CPAs in which they mentioned it at a meeting, and lo and behold, they have sold many, many copies because of their connection or knowledge of Elmer. So even though he wouldn't write the book, I regret now that I did not make tapes of his experiences, because as you get older, it's really difficult to remember everything in detail. But I know it's been my pleasure to know Elmer, to have worked with him and to have lived with him.

Valerie Weaver [00:38:18] Can you say what was like knowing Carl in Lou and your friendship?

Carmel Whiting [00:38:25] Well, I treasure both of their friendships. I've known Carl probably better than Lou because of Elmer's connection. And as I said, I knew his wife. However, and I enjoyed knowing both of them, in the meantime, since Carl's death, I have been in touch with Lou and his wife, Jay, and they have a lovely family. And you probably know one of their daughters is an attorney, a judge, in fact. And I went to her, one of her programs. She had to raise money, encourage people to vote. Call. Of course, I don't mean call. Her father was there, and I took pictures. And I'm glad you mentioned it, because I must send them to her. But I'm very proud of that family. And he and his wife, Jay, both are proud of themselves. They are lovely, warm people, and they have done so much for this community and the world. And I think Stephanie Tubbs has been rewarded in having him around to confer with. And we see each other occasionally. Not too frequently.

Valerie Weaver [00:39:48] You mentioned that you spoke with him yesterday. Can you reveal some of your conversation with him? What's he doing?

Carmel Whiting [00:39:55] Well, basically, I didn't inquire too much about that. He mentioned the fact that he and Elmer were both at Cleveland State University taking courses, but that it was only for a short period. He was closer to Carl. And he also mentioned the fact that, well, he knows. He knew Elmer very well. But you see, as I told you, many experiences and knowledges that Elmer had about professionals he would not share with me. He said, I never want to be in a position where you would discuss anything that was strictly private, and I respected him for that, and I didn't. I had been to affairs where young ladies had boasted about things that they should not have, about their husband's professions, and that's a no-no. However, I promised Lou last night that he and his wife and I would get together soon, and that's one promise I hope to keep.

Valerie Weaver [00:41:13] Was there anything that you would just like to add to the good of the cause, something that we should remember about the civil rights, young people today?

Carmel Whiting [00:41:23] Well, I really regret the fact that, for the most part, they took out social studies in the Cleveland system, as such. I think our students need to know our history, and that should be a part of their curriculum.

Valerie Weaver [00:41:41] Cleveland history?

Carmel Whiting [00:41:42] Cleveland history. Right. Especially. And, you know, I did volunteer work. After I retired, I went back and taught in the Hough area and in the Miles area. Now that I have become aged and I'm glad to still be around, I find I can't do everything I used to do. However, I really wish, to be perfectly honest, that anyone who ever taught school would give at least one day a week or two days a month and go and do tutoring to our students and also parents. They need it, too. In many cases, they don't know, but you have to do it with dignity. And I have worked with parents and students, and I'm sure Lou would agree with me. And maybe if I get caught up with all the things I plan to do, I may be able to squeeze in time to check with him and see if he has any ideas that he can share with me.

Valerie Weaver [00:42:53] Is there anything that you can leave that you'd like to say about the Stokes brothers that young people should really know about?

Carmel Whiting [00:43:03] Well, basically, I think the two of them will admit that a lot of what they are responsible for in this world is the fact they had a loving, dear, devoted mother. And I would say to mothers, take lessons from the Stokes family. And no matter how difficult it is, there's always a way things can be improved. And I dearly love the Stokes, both brothers and their families, and it's been a pleasure to have known them. And now that we've had this discussion, I'm going to do more in an effort to follow through and see. Now I know for a fact that Lou is currently writing a book, and I'm sure that will be a best seller.

Valerie Weaver [00:43:56] I would have to agree. Well, thank you, Carmel, for your time. This has been very interesting and sharing your knowledge, and thank you. It's been great.

Carmel Whiting [00:44:06] Well, Valerie, I appreciate you asking me, and I hope that it benefits some people, and that if there's anything I can do in the future or you have any suggestions, please call on me.

Valerie Weaver [00:44:18] I sure will. Well, thank you.

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