Black Mayors

Cory Booker sm

Newark Mayor Cory Booker
Photo by Bbsrock

The year 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of the election of the first black mayor of a big U.S city. In 1967, Carl Stokes was elected mayor of Cleveland and Richard Hatcher was elected mayor of Gary, IN. The following year Kenneth Gibson was elected mayor of Newark in 1970. Of the 100 largest cities in the country, 39 have had elected black mayors. In 2002, 57.1% of black mayors served in cities that did not have a black majority population.

By 2007, that number has dropped to 40.4%. Perhaps the introduction and prevalence of the Black mayor has helped America become more comfortable with Black politicians in positions of major leadership. In 2002 there were 49 Black Mayors of cities with populations of more than 50,000 only dropping by six in 2011

 

Black Mayors of Cities with 50,000-plus Population

Majority Black Cities Mayor Name % Black  City Population 
East Orange, NJ  
Robert Bowser
88.5%
64,270
Gary, IN
Karen Freeman-Wilson 84.8% 80,294
Irvington, NJ 
Wayne Smith
85.4%
53,926
Dave Bing
82.7%
713,777
Frank Melton
79.4%
173,514
Miami Gardens, FL 
Shirley Gibson
76.3%
107,167
Pine Bluff, AR 
Carl Redus
75.6%
49,083
William A. Bell, Sr.
73.4%
212,237
Albany, GA  
Willie Adams, Jr.
71.6%
77,434
Southfield, MI 
Brenda Lawrence
70.3%
71,739
Monroe, LA 
James Mayo
63.9%
48,815
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
63.7%
620,961
Mt. Vernon, NY 
Clinton Young
63.4%
67,292
A C Wharton, Jr.
63.3%
646,889
Wilmington, DE  
James M. Baker
58.0%
70,851
Savannah, GA 
Otis S. Johnson
55.4%
136,286
Shreveport, LA  
Cedric B. Glover
54.7%
199,311
Melvin “Kip” Holden
54.5%
229,493
Kasim Reed
54.0%
420,003
Frank Jackson
53.3%
396,815
Portsmouth, VA 
Kenneth Irvin Wright
53.3%
95,535
Newark, NJ  
Cory A. Booker
52.4%
277,140
Trenton, NJ  
Tony F. Mack
52.0%
84,913
Vincent C. Gray
50.7%
601,723
Dwight C. Jones
50.6%
204,214
Mobile, AL
Sam Jones
50.6%
195,111
Population figures from 2010 US Census

Black Mayors of non-Black Majority Cities

Non-Majority   Black Cities Mayor Name % Black City Population
Hempstead, NY-Village
Wayne Hall
48.3%
53,891
Camden, NJ 
Dana L. Redd
48.1%
77,344
Youngstown, OH 
Jay Williams
45.2%
66,982
Mark Mallory
44.8%
296,943
Michael A. Nutter
43.4%
1,526,006
Inglewood, CA 
 James T. Butts
42.9%
109,673
William V. Bell
41.0%
228,330
Rashad Young 
40.6%
269,666
Buffalo, NY 
Byron W. Brown
38.6%
261,310
Tallahassee, FL
John Marks
35.0%
181,376
Compton, CA  
Eric Perrodin
32.9%
96,455
Alvin Brown
30.7%
821,784
Michael B. Coleman
28.0%
787,033
Alexandria, VA  
William D. Euille
21.8%
139,966
Sacramento, CA
Kevin Johnson
14.6%
466,488
Asheville, NC 
 Terry Bellamy
13.4%
83,393
Wichita, Kansas
Carl Brewer
11.5%
382,368
Lynwood, CA
Louis Byrd
10.3%
69,772
Population figures from 2010 US Census