This part introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters. The part attempts to provide a systematic way of analyzing black mayors in a historical context. It is followed by a discussion of black mayoral leadership in Atlanta. One of the most striking political developments in American politics has been the increase in the numbers of black elected officials. Of this group, the election of black mayors, especially big-city black mayors, has received widespread attention. The election of big-city black mayors, then, raised the expectations among blacks that the ills of urban society could be met in a more progressive and humane manner. The election of big-city black mayors has become almost routine. The study of black mayoral leadership in Washington, D.C., provides a vivid example of what happens to a popular leader when he allows his public perception to be tainted by personal scandal.