Cuyahoga County

2015 Black History Month Celebration

Barbara Walker and Mervyn Jones II, sister and son of the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones, attended the event.
Ret. Congressman Louis Stokes celebrated his 90th birthday.
Clarence B. Jones, Dr. Martin Luther King's attorney and speechwriter, delivered the keynote address.
On Friday, February 20, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office hosted a celebration of Black History Month and of the late Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones at the Cleveland Convention Center.

Despite bitter cold that shuttered most of county government and the Justice Center that day, the free event attracted several hundred CCPO employees, attorneys, judges and members of the general public.

Clarence B. Jones, who served the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s as a lawyer, confidant, political strategist, fundraiser and speechwriting partner, delivered a powerful keynote in which he declared King to have been a “shooting start” the likes of which none of us will likely see again.

Jones, who now teaches at Stanford University and the University of San Francisco, challenged those who work in law enforcement to strive for justice. “Unless we want to embark on a system of anarchy,” he said, “we have to make sure everyone is treated equally.”

Retired Congressman Louis B. Stokes, a personal and political mentor to Stephanie Tubbs Jones, recalled how much her election as County Prosecutor had meant to African Americans in Greater Cleveland. He said that her life was a “case study in Black History – and in excellence.”

Stokes, who turned 90 three days after the event, was presented with a birthday cake and a hearty rendition of “Happy Birthday.”

Near the end of the event, County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty unveiled a portrait of Stephanie Tubbs Jones that will hang in a new 9th floor conference room named in her honor.

Awards were then presented to leaders in the law, business, education and public service who embody the ideals, goals and dynamism of the late congresswoman. Stephanie Tubbs Jones’ sister Barbara Walker and her son Mervyn Jones II helped master of ceremonies Leon Bibb hand out the awards: A replica of the new Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C.