1967 November 7

Real Black Power Arrives: The New Elected Black Mayors

 

African-American political power came of age in elections held on this day, with victories for Carl Stokes as mayor of Cleveland and Richard Hatcher as mayor of Gary, Indiana. They were the first African-Americans to become mayors of large American cities.

The historic 1965 Voting Rights Act (signed into law on August 6, 1965) eventually led to the election of numerous elected African-American officials in local governments across the south, in positions such as mayors, city council members, school board members, county board members, Sheriffs, and other positions.

In 1970, the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) was formed within the National League of Cities.

Read Stokes’ Autobiography: Carl B. Stokes, Promises of Power: A Political Autobiography (1973)

Learn more at the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials: http://www.nlc.org/build-skills-and-networks/networks/constituency-groups/national-black-caucus-of-local-elected-officials

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