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African-American mayors : race, politics, and the American city /
edited by David R. Colburn and Jeffrey S. Adler.
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2001.
description
viii, 266 p.
ISBN
0252026349 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2001.
isbn
0252026349 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
4419285
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-12-01:
This anthology meets an important need as a resource for the analysis of leadership problems, skills, and backgrounds of the more prominent black regional leadership in the second half of the 20th century. Based largely on original research, these essays delve into the realities of African American communities and their efforts to cope with neglected urban environments by sponsoring candidates to the executive branch of local government. The careers highlighted demonstrate that race has had declining significance over time. Black candidates have had to build large, complex coalitions as their white counterparts have done. Without support from Anglo and Latino populations, mayoral victories remained elusive. Initially, with greater reliance on church networks and community organizations, routes toward public awareness and support differed from those of mainstream white candidates. Once in the role of city chief executive, many blacks were hamstrung by shifting priorities at the state and national levels. Full-scale abandonment of American cities in the 1980s accelerated white flight, erosion of tax bases, and evaporation of urban development grants. The growing numbers of African Americans in the ranks of political leadership may have sprung from the Civil Rights Movement, but their continued role reflects the elevation of qualified leaders capable of forging common ground and finding pragmatic answers. Academic collections. J. Kleiman University of Wisconsin Colleges
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This anthology meets an important need as a resource for the analysis of leadership problems, skills, and backgrounds of the more prominent black regional leadership in the second half of the 20th century. Based largely on original research, these essays delve into the realities of African American communities and their efforts to cope with neglected urban environments by sponsoring candidates to the executive branch of local government." -- Choice "[Adler and Colburn] begin with useful overviews of mayoral campaigns and administrations. Their contributors follow with eight well-executed chapters on ten big-city black mayors. . . . A well-crafted collection." -- Michael W. Homel, Journal of American History "A welcome addition to the literature for those who teach urban politics, urban history, or any classes that deal with the struggle for political power by racial minorities. . . . Adler's comprehensive discussion of the variables that help to explain the advance and limitations of African American political power in American cities is alone worth the price of admission. -- Richard A. Keiser, H-Urban, H-Net Reviews ADVANCE PRAISE "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 "Going beyond a discussion of the election of black officeholders to survey their experiences in governing, these clear, concise essays examine the factors that shaped the fortunes of black mayors trying to run their communities." - Steven F. Lawson, author of Running for Freedom: Civil Rights and Black Politics in America since 1941"A welcome addition to the literature for those who teach urban politics, urban history, or any classes that deal with the struggle for political power by racial minorities. . . . Adler's comprehensive discussion of the variables that help to explain the advance and limitations of African American political power in American cities is alone worth the price of admission. -- Richard A. Keiser, H-Urban, H-Net Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 2001
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Summaries
Main Description
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 two hundred black mayors held office, and by 1993 sixty-seven major urban centers, most with majority-white populations, were headed by African Americans.Once in office, African-American mayors faced vexing challenges. In large and small cities from the Sunbelt to the Rustbelt, black mayors assumed office during economic downturns and confronted the intractable problems of decaying inner cities, white flight, a dwindling tax base, violent crime, and diminishing federal support for social programs. Many encountered hostility from their own parties, city councils, and police departments; others worked against long-established power structures dominated by local business owners or politicians. Still others, while trying to respond to multiple demands from a diverse constituency, were viewed as traitors by blacks expecting special attention from a leader of their own race. All struggled with the contradictory mandate of meeting the increasing needs of poor inner-city residents while keeping white businesses from fleeing to the suburbs.This is the first comprehensive treatment of the complex phenomenon of African-American mayors in the nation's major urban centers. 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).Probing the elusive economic dimension of black power, African-American Mayors demonstrates how the same circumstances that set the stage for the victories of black mayors exaggerated the obstacles they faced.
Unpaid Annotation
This is the first comprehensive treatment of the complex phenomenon of African-American mayors in the nation's major urban centers. 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 the accomplishments and challenges that marked their careers.Once in office, African-American mayors faced the intractable problems of decaying inner cities, white flight, a dwindling tax base, violent crime, and diminishing federal support for social programs. Many encountered hostility from their own parties, city councils, and police departments; others worked against long-established power structures dominated by local business owners or politicians. Still others, while trying to respond to multiple demands from a diverse constituency, were viewed as traitors by blacks expecting special attention from a leader of their own race. All struggled with the contradictory mandate of meeting the increasing needs of poor inner-city residents while keeping white businesses from fleeing to the suburbs.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).
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Running for Office: African-American Mayors from 1967 to 1996p. 23
Black Political Power and Its Limits: Gary Mayor Richard G. Hatcherr's Administration, 1968-87p. 57
Carl Stokes: Mayor of Clevelandp. 80
Harold and Dutch Revisited: A Comparative Look at the First Black Mayors of Chicago and New Orleansp. 107
Mayor David Dinkins and the Politics of Race in New York Cityp. 130
Tom Bradley and the Politics of Racep. 153
African-American Mayors and Governance in Atlantap. 178
Protest and Power in Washington, D.C.: The Troubled Legacy of Marion Barryp. 200
Rethinking the Collapse of Postware Liberalism: The Rise of Mayor Coleman Young and the Politics of Race in Detroitp. 227
Contributorsp. 249
Indexp. 253
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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