Black Mayors in Large Cities: A Historical Perspective

  • Marcus D. Pohlmann


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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  1. 1.
    See Howard Chudacoff, The Evolution of American Urban Society (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975).Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    William Nelson, “Black Mayoral Leadership,” in Black Electoral Politics, edited by Lucius Barker (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 1990) 191.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    See Clarence Stone, Regime Politics (Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 1989): 156–58Google Scholar
  4. 10.
    See William Nelson, “Black Mayors as Urban Managers,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences 439 (September 1978): 64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 13.
    See George Cole and Christopher Smith, Criminal Justice in America (Belmont, CA: West Publishing, 1999): 11–12.Google Scholar
  6. 17.
    Neil Kraus and Todd Swanstrom, “Minority Mayors and the Hollow-Prize Problem,” in PS (March 2001): 103. Also see William Nelson, “Black Mayoral Leadership: A 20-Year Perspective,” National Political Science Review 2 ( 1990): 188–95.Google Scholar
  7. 18.
    See Marcus D. Pohlmann, Black Politics in Conservative America (New York: Longman Press, 1999)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Gayle T. Tate and Lewis A. Randolph 2006

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  • Marcus D. Pohlmann

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