Book Beat: December 2001

Recent publications from CLAS faculty

African-American Mayors: Race, Politics, and the American City

African-American Mayors: Race, Politics, and the American Cityedited by David R. Colburn and Jeffrey S. Adler,
Department of History
(University of Illinois Press, 2001)
Available through Amazon

On November 7, 1967, the voters of Cleveland, Ohio, and Gary, Indiana, elected the nation's first African-American mayors to govern their cities. Ten years later more than 200 black mayors held office, and by 1993, 67 major urban centers, most with majority-white populations, were headed by African Americans.

This is the first comprehensive study of African-American mayors in the nation's major urban areas. Offering a diverse portrait of leadership, conflict and almost insurmountable obstacles, this volume assesses the political alliances that brought black mayors to office as well as their accomplishments—notably, increased minority hiring and funding for minority businesses—and the challenges that marked their careers. Mayors profiled include Carl B. Stokes (Cleveland), Richard G. Hatcher (Gary), "Dutch" Morial (New Orleans), Harold Washington (Chicago), Tom Bradley (Los Angeles), Marion Barry (Washington, D.C.), David Dinkins (New York City), Coleman Young (Detroit), and a succession of black mayors in Atlanta (Maynard Jackson, Andrew Young, and Bill Campbell).

- Publisher

"This excellent new collection of original essays on black big-city mayors provides essential historical perspective on racial change in late twentieth-century urban politics. Deeply researched and well written, this volume represents a major step forward in recent urban political history."

—Raymond A. Mohl,
Editor of The Making of Urban America

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