Why Has Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Never Had a Black Mayor?
According to the U.S. Census, the Black population of Tuscaloosa is 44 percent. That’s almost half. I know I just got back to Tuscaloosa, and believe me, I’m not trying to place blame or start any mess. But am I the only one that thinks that a city with a 44% Black population might have a Black Mayor?
Montgomery just got their first African American mayor, Steven Red, in 2019. Granted, Montgomery is almost 61 percent Black. I’m still baffled why it took so long, but they did make it happen.
Birmingham got an African American mayor in 1979. Birmingham is just under 70 percent Black, so that isn’t unusual.
Atlanta, however, is only 51 percent black – closer to that of Tuscaloosa – and they elected a Black mayor, Maynard Jackson, in 1974.
Is there a pattern we see? Is there a threshold of, say, 50 percent Black population, where it is reasonable to see an African American mayor possibly? Or is there something else at work? And it’s not a matter of whether Black politicians will go toe-to-toe with five-time incumbent Walt Maddox. Most recently Pastor Martin Houston ran against Maddox and UA instructor Serena Fortenberry. Both lost to Maddox without a runoff. Did it snow that day or something?
Maybe it isn’t about race. That would be nice to think that in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, race s not even an issue. Black people and white people are equal, and racism doesn’t exist anymore. Hallelujah!
It doesn’t seem like we’re there … not yet.
Sometimes, though, it’s the candidate. If the RIGHT Black candidate came along, is it possible Tuscaloosa could have its first African American mayor? I guess the future will tell.
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