Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. David Houghton
Dr. James Visser
Dr. Alan Issac
Masters Thesis-Open Access
This research attempts to create an understanding of generationality as it applies to successive black mayors in the urban setting. At a glance, the first black mayors of Atlanta, Detroit, and St. Louis received criticism for being anti-white and using racial conflict to accomplish their goals of diversifying the decision-making elites in each city. The black mayors immediately following in each city were criticized in the black community as being too accommodating to white interests as they attempted to find racial balance in the decision-making elite.
This research uses literature to establish the nature of early black mayors as believing it part of their job as mayor to: (1) Diversify the decision-making elite of the city, and (2) Serve dual purposes of being a black leader as well as the leader of the city. By comparing the first black mayors elected in each city to the succeeding black mayors of the same cities, this research finds the first black mayors in the three cities studied do fit a clearly defined generation that adheres to the two principles listed above. On the other hand, succeeding mayors strived to be ambassadors or technocrats depending on the city's needs.
Core, "First and Second Generations of Urban Black Mayors: Atlanta, Detroit, and St. Louis" (2001). Master's Theses. 3883.