Twenty-First Century Black Mayors, Non-Majority Black Cities, And the Representation of Black Interests

Full Metadata

Overview

Title
Twenty-First Century Black Mayors, Non-Majority Black Cities, And the Representation of Black Interests
Contributors
Perry, Ravi K. (creator)
Orr, Marion (director)
Morone, James (reader)
Schiller, Wendy (reader)
West, Darrell (reader)
Brown University. Political Science (sponsor)
Doi
10.7301/Z0HH6HBV
Copyright Date
2009
Abstract
The dissertation, "Twenty-First Century Black Mayors, Non-majority Black cities, and the Representation of Black Interests," examines under what conditions do Black mayors of non-majority Black cities actively pursue policies and programs designed to improve the quality of life of Black residents. This question is derived from two premises. First, as a racial minority that has long been politically and economically marginalized, Blacks historically have experienced disproportionate disparities in housing, education, income, and other socio-economic indicators. Hence, the election of a Black mayor is viewed by Blacks as an opportunity to see city government work in their interest and to address these disparities. As a result, African-Americans embrace the election of one of their own with high expectations. The second premise is based on population trends. Demographic changes in many American cities are steadily reversing the population dynamics that brought about the election of this nation's first African-American mayors. The 2000 U.S. Census indicates that major cities are losing Black population, while gaining Latinos and Whites. Some of these cities, Washington D.C., for example, have been staples of Black mayoral governance for decades. However, should this trend continue, ambitious Black politicians will increasingly find themselves running for the mayor's office in cities that are not majority African American. This dissertation examines if and how Black mayors of non-majority Black cities actively pursue policies and programs relevant to Black interests. The dissertation tests that proposition in two medium-sized Ohio cities with unique government structures where Blacks do not constitute a majority: Toledo and Dayton. Utilizing eighty-three semi-structured interviews, content analysis of city council minutes, mayoral speeches and newspaper articles, and GIS analysis of election results, the findings inform how the Black mayors actively pursued polices and programs designed to improve Black quality of life by universalizing the interests of Blacks as interests that matter to all constituents. The mayor's personality and business relationships, the city's government structure, and the racial and ideological make-up of council are found to be significant conditions.
Keywords
Black Representation
Urban Politics
Mayoral Behavior
Municipal government
Notes
Thesis (Ph.D.) -- Brown University (2009)
Extent
xvi, 379 p.

Citation

Perry, Ravi K., "Twenty-First Century Black Mayors, Non-Majority Black Cities, And the Representation of Black Interests" (2009). Political Science Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library. https://doi.org/10.7301/Z0HH6HBV

Relations

Collection: