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Song for My Father

Memoir of an All-American Family

About The Book

Song for My Father is a daughter's memoir of her father, Charles M. Stokes, a prominent African-American member of the National Republican Party. Known as "Stokey," he was born just forty years after the abolition of slavery. But by the time he became a pioneer in the fields of law, legislation, and politics -- during the turbulent and transformative 1960s and 70s -- contemporary associations of the GOP with the "party of Lincoln" had faded. Stokes's choice to remain a Republican against the tide of black Democratic political loyalty took courage. He would live to become Seattle's first black state legislator and serve as Washington State's first African-American district court judge.
With Song for My Father, Ms. Stokes pays tribute to a man whose love for his country, his family, and his people made a world of difference for generations to come. Stokes's life is a compelling example of what American Dreams are made of.

About The Author

Photograph by Derrys Richardson

Stephanie Stokes Oliver is the author of Daily Cornbread: 365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Spirit; Seven Soulful Secrets for Finding Your Purpose & Minding Your Mission; and Song for My Father: Memoir of an All-American Family. Formerly the editor of Essence, and founding editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul, she started her magazine career at Glamour. For more information, see

Product Details

  • Publisher: Atria Books (July 26, 2005)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9780743474054

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Raves and Reviews

"[A] touching tribute to...the late Charles M. Stokes, a proud Republican and Seattle's first African-American state legislator."
-- Essence

"Sheds new light on the historical role of blacks within the Republican Party and offers readers a glimpse of the world of a man who forged his own path and encouraged his children to do the same."
-- Town & Country

"[A]n amazing piece of history."
-- Janis F. Kearney, presidential diarist to Bill Clinton

"[Charles M. Stokes's] life is a testament to the American-ness of us all."
-- Benilde Little, author of Acting Out

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