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The first African American mayors were elected during Reconstruction in the Southern United States beginning about 1867. African Americans in the South were also elected to many local offices, such as sheriff or Justice of the Peace, and state offices such as legislatures as well as a smaller number to Federal offices. After this period ended in 1876, it became increasingly difficult for African Americans to compete in elections due to racial discrimination such as Jim Crow laws. After the end of the 19th century it generally was not until the 1960s, they again began to be elected or appointed to mayoral positions following the civil rights movement and passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965. Achievements in African Americans' being elected mayor in majority-European American and other municipalities made their political participation one of daily life in many localities. In 1970 there were fewer than 50 African American mayors; by 1982 there were 205.[1][2]

1860s

First African American elected mayor of a U.S. town: Pierre Caliste Landry, Donaldsonville, Louisiana[3]
First African-American mayor of Kingstree, South Carolina: Stephen Atkins Swails
First African-American mayor of Maryville, Tennessee: W. B. Scott[4]

1870s

First African American elected mayor of a Mississippi city: Robert H. Wood, Natchez, Mississippi[5][6]
First African American elected to serve as mayor in the state of New York: Edward "Ned" Sherman, Cleveland, New York[7][8]

1880s

Founding mayor: Columbus H. Boger, Eatonville, Florida
First African American elected to the office of mayor in California and probably the first elected mayor in the Western United States: Edward P. Duplex, Wheatland, California[9][10]

1900s

Founding mayor: T. B. Armstrong, Boley, Oklahoma

1920s

Lawnside, New Jersey became a self-governing community in 1926 and has elected African-American mayors since its inception.

1960s

First African-American mayor of Richmond, California: George D. Carroll
First African-American mayor of Flint, Michigan: Floyd J. McCree[11]
First African-American mayor of Lake Elsinore, California: Thomas R. Yarborough[12]
First African-American mayor of Milpitas, California: Ben F. Gross[13]
First African-American mayor of El Centro, California: DuBois McGee [14]
First elected African-American mayor of a large U.S. city, Gary, Indiana: Richard G. Hatcher[15]
First African-American mayor of a large U.S. city, Cleveland, Ohio: Carl Stokes
First African American appointed mayor of Washington, D.C.: Walter Washington (see also: 1975)
First African American elected mayor of Ypsilanti, Michigan: John Burton[16]
First African American elected Mayor of Montclair, New Jersey: Matthew G. Carter[17]
First African-American mayor of a Kentucky city: Luska Twyman, Glasgow, Kentucky
First African American elected mayor of a predominantly white southern city: Howard Nathaniel Lee, Chapel Hill, North Carolina[18]
First African American elected mayor of Fayette, Mississippi: Charles Evers[19]
First African American mayor of Compton, California: Douglas Dollarhide
First African American elected mayor of East Orange, New Jersey: William Stanford Hart Sr.[20]
First African American elected mayor of Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Howard Nathaniel Lee[21]

1970s

First African American elected mayor of Newark, New Jersey: Kenneth A. Gibson
First African American elected mayor of Dayton, Ohio: James H. McGee
First African American appointed mayor of Wichita, Kansas: A. Price Woodard[22]
First African-American elected mayor of Salina, Kansas: Robert C. Caldwell[23]
First African American elected mayor of Chesilhurst, New Jersey: George J. Phillips[24]
First African-American appointed mayor of Gainesville, Florida since the Reconstruction era: Neil A. Butler[25]
First African American appointed mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan: Lyman Parks (see also: 1973)
First African-American mayor of Englewood, New Jersey: Walter Scott Taylor[26]
First African-American mayor of Tallahassee, Florida and first African-American mayor of a state capital: James R. Ford
First African-American mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio: Ted Berry
First African American elected mayor of Detroit, Michigan: Coleman Young
First African American elected mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina: Clarence Lightner
First African American elected mayor of a city in Georgia, Greenville: Richmond D. Hill[27][28][29]
First African American elected mayor of a major Southern city: Maynard Jackson, Atlanta, Georgia[30]
First African American elected mayor of a major Western city: Tom Bradley, Los Angeles, California
First African-American woman mayor: Lelia Foley, Taft, Oklahoma[31]
First African-American woman mayor of a major satellite city: Doris A. Davis, Compton, California[32]
First African American elected mayor of Grand Rapids, Michigan: Lyman Parks (see also: 1971)
First African American elected mayor of Waco, Texas: Oscar Du Conge[33]
First African American appointed mayor of Pontiac, Michigan: Wallace E. Holland
First African American elected mayor of Boulder, Colorado: Penfield Tate
First African American woman elected mayor of Fairplay, Colorado: Ada B. Evans[34]
First African American elected mayor of Berkeley Township, New Jersey: Edward Tolbert[20]
First African American elected mayor of Matawan, New Jersey and first African American mayor in Monmouth County: Philip N. Gumbs
First African American elected mayor of Paulsboro, New Jersey: Elwood Hampton[35]
First African American elected mayor of Randolph, New Jersey: Tyrone Barnes
First African American elected mayor, and first elected mayor, of Washington, D.C.: Walter Washington (see also: 1967)
First African-American mayor of Santa Monica, California: Nat Trives[36]
First African-American mayor of Opa-Locka, Florida and first African-American mayor in Dade County: Albert Tresvant[37]
First African American elected mayor of Pocatello, Idaho and first African American elected mayor in the state of Idaho: Thomas L. Purce[38]
First African-American mayor of Seaside, California: Oscar Lawson[39]
First African-American mayor of Opelousas, Louisiana: John W. Joseph[40]
First African-American mayor of Richmond, Virginia: Henry L. Marsh[41] (Note: elected from within nine City Council members; changed to general election in 2003)
First African American elected mayor of Oakland, California: Lionel Wilson
First African American elected mayor of New Orleans: Ernest Nathan Morial
First African American elected mayor of Birmingham, Alabama: Richard Arrington, Jr.
First African American appointed mayor of New London, Connecticut: Leo E. Jackson
First African American elected mayor of Rock Island, Illinois: James R. Davis

1980s

First African American elected mayor of Camden, New Jersey: Randy Primas[42]
First African American elected mayor of Spokane, Washington: James Everett Chase
First African American elected mayor of Plainfield, New Jersey, and first African American elected mayor in Central New Jersey: Everett C. Lattimore[43][44]
First African-American mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas: Charles E. Bussey Jr.[45]
First African-American mayor of Winter Haven, Florida: Lemuel Geathers
First First African-American of mayor of Hartford, Connecticut: Thirman L. Milner
First African American succeeds to the office of mayor of Memphis, Tennessee after the resignation of his predecessor: J.O. Patterson, Jr.[46]
First African American elected Mayor of Chicago: Harold Washington
First African American elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina: Harvey Gantt
First African American elected Mayor of Flint: James Sharp
First African American elected Mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey: James L. Usry
First African American elected Mayor of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Wilson Goode
First African American elected mayor of Portsmouth, Virginia: James W. Holley, III
First African American appointed mayor of Peekskill, New York: Richard E. Jackson
First African-American appointed mayor of Gainesville, Georgia: John W. Morrow Jr.[47][48]
First African-American appointed mayor of Lynwood, California: Robert Henning[49]
First African American elected mayor of Mount Vernon, New York, and first African American elected mayor in New York: Ronald Blackwood[50]
First African American appointed mayor of Mount Pleasant, Tennessee and first African-American appointed mayor in the state of Tennessee: Willie B. Baker[51][52]
First African American and first woman mayor of Newport News, Virginia: Jessie M. Rattley[53]
First African American woman elected mayor of a major city Hartford, Connecticut: Carrie Saxon Perry
First African American succeeds to the office of mayor of Baltimore, Maryland: Clarence H. Burns
First African American elected mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska: James C. Hayes[54]
First African American elected mayor of Tacoma, Washington: Harold Moss[55]
First African American woman and first woman mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas: Lottie Shackelford
First African American elected mayor of Baltimore, Maryland: Kurt Schmoke
First African American elected mayor of Hempstead, New York: James A. Garner
First African American elected mayor of New York City: David Dinkins
First African American elected mayor of New Haven, Connecticut: John C. Daniels
First African American elected mayor of Richmond, California: George Livingston[56]
First African American elected mayor of Rockford, Illinois: Charles Box
First African American elected mayor of Seattle, Washington: Norm Rice
First African American succeeds to the office of mayor of Minden, Louisiana, via recall of his predecessor: Robert T. Tobin
First African American elected mayor of Asbury Park, New Jersey:Thomas S. Smith

1990s

First African American elected Mayor of Trenton, New Jersey: Douglas Palmer
First African American elected mayor of New Bern, North Carolina: Leander R. "Lee" Morgan[57]
First African-American mayor of Lynchburg, Virginia: M.W. Thornhill Jr.[58]
First African American elected mayor of Chandler, Arizona: Coy Payne
First African American elected mayor of New York City: David Dinkins
First Atrican American elected mayor of Irvington, New Jersey: Michael J. Steele
First African American elected mayor of Memphis, Tennessee: W. W. Herenton
First African American elected mayor of Denver, Colorado: Wellington Webb
First African American elected mayor of Kansas City, Missouri: Emanuel Cleaver
First African American woman elected mayor of Washington, D.C.: Sharon Pratt Kelly
First African-American mayor of Trenton, New Jersey: Douglas Palmer
First African-American mayor of Salem, New Jersey: Leon F. Johnson [59]
First African American male elected mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts: Kenneth Reeves
First African American elected mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska: James C. Hayes[60]
First African American elected mayor of St. Louis, Missouri: Freeman Bosley, Jr.
First African American elected mayor of Rochester, New York: William A. Johnson, Jr.
First African American and first woman elected mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota: Sharon Sayles Belton
First African American elected mayor of Dallas, Texas: Ron Kirk
First African American elected mayor of Savannah, Georgia: Floyd Adams, Jr.
First African American elected mayor of San Francisco, California: Willie Brown
First African American elected mayor of Monroe, Louisiana: Abe E. Pierce, III
First African American elected mayor of Pleasant Valley, Missouri: Abram "Abe" McGull[61]
First African American elected mayor of Dolton, Illinois: William Shaw
First African American elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi: Harvey Johnson, Jr.
First African American elected mayor of Houston, Texas: Lee P. Brown
First African American elected mayor of Des Moines, Iowa: Preston Daniels[62]
First African American elected mayor of Paterson, New Jersey: Martin G. Barnes
First African-American succeeds to the mayor of Colorado Springs, Colorado after the resignation of his predecessor: Leon Young[63]
First African-born Black mayor in the United States elected as mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio: Emmanuel Onunwor[64]
First African-American mayor of Jasper, Texas: R. C. Horn[65]
First African-American female elected mayor of Cambridge, Massachusetts: E. Denise Simmons
First African-American mayor of Hopewell, Virginia: Curtis West Harris
First African-American mayor of Pineville, Louisiana: Clarence R. Fields (became interim mayor in 1999; was elected to a partial term in 2000 and re-elected to full terms in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2014)
First African-American mayor of Elyria, Ohio: Thomas O. Shores

2000s

First African American elected mayor of Columbus, Ohio: Michael B. Coleman
First African American elected mayor of Selma, Alabama: James Perkins, Jr.
First African American elected mayor of Oceanside, California: Terry Johnson[66]
First African American woman elected mayor of Worland, Wyoming: LaVertha Gotier[67]
First African American elected mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Johnny DuPree[68]
First African-American woman mayor of a major Southern city, and first woman to be elected mayor of Atlanta, Georgia: Shirley Franklin[69]
First African American and first woman elected mayor of Southfield, Michigan: Brenda L. Lawrence
First African American elected mayor of Fayetteville, North Carolina: Marshall Pitts Jr.[70]
First African-American female Republican elected mayor of Tchula, Mississippi: Yvonne Brown[71]
First African American Mayor of Jersey City, New Jersey: Glenn Cunningham[72]
First African-American appointed female mayor of Gainesville, Georgia: Myrtle Figueras[73]
First African-American woman elected mayor of Dayton, Ohio: Rhine McLin
First African American elected mayor of Toledo, Ohio: Jack Ford
First African-American elected mayor of Palm Springs, California: Ron Oden
First African American elected by citizens as mayor of Tallahassee, Florida: John Marks
First African-American elected mayor, and first elected mayor, of San Ramon, California: H. Abram Wilson
First African American elected mayor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana: Kip Holden
First African-American mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Marvin Pratt
First African American elected mayor of Pine Bluff, Arkansas: Carl A. Redus Jr.[74]
First African-American elected female mayor of Waco, Texas: Mae Jackson[75]
First African-American appointed female mayor of East Cleveland, Ohio: Saratha Goggins[76]
First African American elected mayor of Buffalo, New York: Byron Brown
First African American elected mayor of Mobile, Alabama: Sam Jones
First African American elected mayor of Asheville, North Carolina: Terry Bellamy
First African American elected mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio: Mark Mallory
First African American elected mayor of Youngstown, Ohio: Jay Williams
First African American and woman elected mayor of Greenwood, Mississippi: Sheriel F. Perkins[77]
First African-American succeeds to the office of mayor of Orlando, Florida: Ernest Page[78]
First African American elected mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana: Cedric Glover
First African American elected mayor of Anderson, South Carolina: Terence Roberts[79]
First African-American mayor of Duarte, California: Lois Gaston
First African American elected mayor of Killeen, Texas: Timothy Hancock[80]
First African-American woman and first woman elected mayor of Baltimore, Maryland: Sheila Dixon
First African American elected mayor of Greensboro, North Carolina: Yvonne Johnson
First African American elected mayor of Wichita, Kansas: Carl Brewer
First African American elected mayor of South Harrison Township, New Jersey: Charles Tyson[81]
First African American elected mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri: Carson Ross
First African American elected mayor of Lancaster, Texas: Marcus Knight
First African American elected mayor of Mansfield, Ohio: Donald Culliver
First African American elected mayor of Sacramento, California: Kevin Johnson
First African American mayor of Festus, Missouri: Earl Cook[82]
First African-American and first woman elected mayor of Cambridge, Maryland: Victoria Jackson-Stanley
First African American elected mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi: James Young
First African American elected mayor of Freeport, New York: Andrew Hardwick[83]
First African-American woman elected mayor of Brentwood, Maryland: Xzavier Montgomery-Wright[84]
First African American and first woman elected mayor of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Linda D. Thompson[85]

2010s

First African-American woman elected mayor of Fontana, California: Acquanetta Warren[86]
First African American elected mayor of Columbia, South Carolina: Stephen K. Benjamin
First African American elected mayor of Bridgeton, New Jersey: Albert B. Kelly[87]
First African American elected mayor of Jacksonville, Florida: Alvin Brown[88]
First African-American mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee: Daniel Brown
First African-American woman elected mayor of Savannah, Georgia: Edna Jackson[89]
First African-American mayor of Ithaca, New York: Svante Myrick
First African-American mayor of Antioch, California: Wade Harper[90]
First African American and first female mayor of Orrville, Alabama: Louvenia Diane Lumpkin[91]
First African-American mayor of Phenix City, Alabama: Eddie Lowe
First African-American woman and first woman elected mayor of Gary, Indiana: Karen Freeman-Wilson[92]
First African-American mayor of Plano, Texas: Harry LaRosiliere
First African-American mayor of Meridian, Mississippi: Percy Bland
First African-American mayor of Quitman, Georgia: James C. Brown III[93]
First African-American mayor of Adairsville, Georgia: Kenneth J. Carson
First African-American female mayor of New Haven, Connecticut, and first woman: Toni Harp[94]
First African-American mayor of Brunswick, Georgia: Cornell Harvey
First African-American female mayor of San Antonio, Texas: Ivy Taylor[95]
First African-American woman elected mayor of Shreveport, Louisiana: Ollie Tyler
First African-American female Mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, as well as the first African-American female mayor of any municipality in Bergen County, New Jersey: Lizette Parker[96]
Second African-American mayor of Rochester, New York: Lovely Warren, also first Female African-American mayor of Rochester.
First African-American mayor of Linden, New Jersey: Derek Armstead[97]
First African American and first African-American woman elected mayor of Pearsall, Texas: Mary Moore[98]
First African American and first African-American woman elected mayor of Conway, South Carolina: Barbara Blain-Bellamy[99]
First African American elected mayor of Camilla, Georgia: Rufus L Davis II[100]
First African-American woman elected mayor of Toledo, Ohio: Paula Hicks-Hudson
First African-American woman and first woman elected mayor of Flint, Michigan: Karen Weaver
First African American and First African American Woman appointed as mayor of Grove Hill, Alabama: Cynthia McGill Jackson
First African American elected mayor in San Diego County and Lemon Grove, California: Racquel Vasquez[101]
First African-American and first African-American female mayor of Midland City, Alabama: Jo Ann Bennett Grimsley[102]
First African American elected mayor of Norfolk, Virginia: Kenneth Alexander[103]
First African American elected mayor of Stockton, California: Michael Tubbs[104]
First African American and First African American Woman elected as mayor of Grove Hill, Alabama: Cynthia McGill Jackson
First African American elected mayor of Stamps, Arkansas: Brenda Davis[105]
First African-American woman elected mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina: Vi Lyles
First African American elected mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota: Melvin Carter
First African American elected mayor of Waukegan, Illinois: Sam Cunningham[106]
First African American elected mayor of Aurora, Illinois: Richard Irvin[107]
First female African American succeeds to the office of mayor of Paterson, New Jersey: Ruby Cotton
First female African American appointed as mayor of Paterson, New Jersey: Jane Williams-Warren
First female African American elected as mayor of Kankakee, Illinois: Chastity Wells-Armstrong[108]
First African American elected mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas: Frank Scott Jr.
First African American mayor of Brookneal, Virginia: James Nowlin
First African American mayor of Orange County, Florida: Jerry Demings
First African American mayor of Helena, Montana: Wilmot Collins[109]
First appointed African American mayor of Danville, Illinois: Rickey Williams Jr.[110]
First African American mayor of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania: Mark Barbee [111]
First African American elected Mayor of Manor, Texas: Larry Wallace Jr. Manor’s first African American mayor takes office
First African American woman and first openly gay elected Mayor of Chicago: Lori Lightfoot
First African American mayor of Lewisburg, West Virginia: Beverly White
First African American elected mayor of Elyria, Ohio: Frank Whitfield[112]
First African American elected Mayor of Montgomery, Alabama: Steven Reed
First African American elected mayor of Talladega, Alabama: Timothy Ragland
First African American elected mayor of Irmo, South Carolina: Barry Walker
First African American elected mayor of Eastpointe, Michigan: Monique Owens[113]
First African American elected mayor of New Castle, Pennsylvania: Chris Frye
First African American elected mayor of Wyoming, Ohio: Thaddeus Hoffmeister
First African American and elected by popular vote of Camden, Arkansas: Julian Lott and president of Arkansas Black Mayors Association 2020– present
First elected African American mayor of Danville, Illinois: Rickey Williams Jr.[110]

2020s

First African American elected mayor of Ferguson, Missouri: Ella Jones
First African American elected mayor of Lake View, Alabama: Adrain Dudley
First African American elected mayor of Natchitoches, Louisiana: Ronnie Williams, Jr.
First African American elected mayor of Tempe, Arizona: Corey Woods[114]
First elected African American mayor of Williamsport, Pennsylvania: Derek Slaughter[115]
First African American elected mayor of Alton, Illinois: David Goins[116]
First African American elected mayor of Bloomington, Illinois: Mboka Mwilambwe[117]
First African American elected mayor of Calumet City, Illinois: Thaddeus Jones[118]
First African American and first woman to serve as acting mayor of Boston: Kim Janey (upon the resignation of Marty Walsh to take the position of United States Secretary of Labor in the Cabinet of Joe Biden).[119]
First African American elected mayor of Kansas City, Kansas: Tyrone Garner
First African American elected mayor of Libertyville, Illinois: Donna Johnson[120]
First African American elected mayor of Maplewood, Missouri: Nikylan Knapper[121]
First African American elected mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Edward C. Gainey
First African American eleted mayor of Little Elm, Texas: Curtis Cornelious[122]
First African American woman elected mayor of St. Louis: Tishaura Jones[123]
First African American woman elected mayor of Peekskill, New York: Vivian MacKenzie[124]
First African American elected mayor of Willard, Missouri: Samuel Snider
First African American elected mayor of Wiggins, Mississippi: Darrell Berry[125]
First African American elected mayor of Milwaukee: Cavalier Johnson[126]
First African American elected Mayor of Summerton, South Carolina: Tony Junious[127]
First women elected mayor and first African-American mayor of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania: Rita Frealing [128]

See also

References

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