Black Mayors in Large Cities: A Historical Perspective
Prior to 1967, no major US city had elected a black mayor and since then a number of southern cities did so during Reconstruction. Then, a combination of circumstances came together. Many blacks had been migrating to large cities since the turn of the century. A civil rights movement swept the country, knocking down barriers to black electoral participation, conducting massive voter registration drives, and raising the level of black consciousness. Meanwhile, many white residents headed for the suburbs, leaving inner city populations with a notably higher percentage of African Americans.
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