port of harlem magazine
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Another Confederate Capital Falls into Black Hands
December 20, 2018 – January 2, 2019
frank scott jr

When Frank Scott, Jr. becomes mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas New Years Day 2019, he will become one of seven descendents of enslaved Africans currently leading a capital city of a state that fought to hold his ancestors in bondage. He joins Chokwe Antar Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi; LaToya Cantrell of New Orleans, Louisiana; Randall Woodfin of Birmingham, Alabama; Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, Georgia; Andrew Gillum of Jacksonville, Florida; and Levar Stoney of Richmond, Virginia.

The children of the enslaved are now mayors of 7 of the 11 former Confederate capitals. None of the states have Black governors with Gillum of Jacksonville, Florida and Stacey Abrams of Georgia having lost their statewide elections this past November.

Richard Hatcher of Gary, Indiana and Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio became the nation’s first elected big city Black mayors in 1968. Five years later, in 1973, Maynard Jackson of Atlanta, Georgia became the first Black elected mayor of a major city in the former Confederacy.

At the congressional level, two of the nine new Black members hail from the Old Confederacy and won in majority White districts. Lucy McBath defeated Republican incumbent Karen Handel in the Atlanta suburbs in a district once represented by Newt Gingrich. McBath became a reluctant public figure in 2012 when her 17-year-old son Jordan was shot dead at a Florida gas station by a White man who complained about loud music.
In Texas, Colin Allred will represent George W. Bush in Congress. There will now be 55 Blacks in the House and three in the Senate.
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