Big-City Black Mayors: An Overview
DOI link for Big-City Black Mayors: An Overview
Big-City Black Mayors: An Overview book
Black mayoral styles are shaped by their personality and the culture of the cities they govern. The only long-term, big-city, black mayors to be defeated recently have been Kenneth Gibson of Newark and Richard Hatcher of Gary—both seeking fifth terms. From the election of the first black mayors in 1967 through the early 1980s, black mayors have enjoyed the enthusiastic support of black voters. Some mayors have been less aggressive and more accommodating because they rely heavily on coalitions to get elected. In cities where black mayors need white support, resistance, while still present, is not as hostile, and support from whites may actually rise a few percentage points. For black mayors, then, incumbency, when backed by political skill and popularity, has made them almost unbeatable in certain cities. The political scandals that have engulfed both Mayors Barry and Bradley may have reduced their power and ability to initiate new programs to solve these problems.