Factoid: Black Mayors of Cities with Population Over 50,000

This is a list of black mayors in cities with a population over 50,000. This is based on information from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. The Joint Center describes itself as “one of the nation’s premier research and public policy institutions and the only one whose work focuses exclusively on issues of particular concern to African Americans and other people of color.”

Their black mayors list is here. I have updated the list; the Joint Center’s list was effective as of the end of 2007. This list should be correct as of August 2008. If readers have any updates to provide, please fell free to send them to us. Items in bold are known updates as of very early 2010 – but a number of entries are certainly outdated in 2010.

There are 45 cities on the list. African Americans are at least 40% of the population in 35 cities. Ten of the 45 mayors are female.

Here’s the list:

City
Population
%Black
Mayor
Philadelphia, PA 1,517,550
43.2
Michael Nutter
Detroit, MI 951,270
81.6
Kwame Kilpatrick Dave Bing
Jacksonville, FL 821,784
30.7
Alvin Brown
Columbus, OH 711,470
24.5
Michael B. Coleman
Charlotte, NC 687,456
33.7
Anthony Foxx
Baltimore, MD 651,154
64.3
Sheila Dixon Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Memphis, TN 650,100
61.4
Willie Herenton A C Wharton
Washington, DC 601,723
50.7
Vincent Gray
New Orleans, LA 484,674
67.3
C. Ray Nagin
Cleveland, OH 478,403
51.1
Frank Jackson
Atlanta, GA 416,474
61.4
Shirley Franklin Kasim Reed
Oakland, CA 399,484
35.7
Ron Dellums
Cincinnati, OH 331,285
42.9
William L. Mallory
Buffalo, NY 292,648
37.2
Byron W. Brown
Newark, NJ 273,546
53.5
Cory A. Booker
Birmingham, AL 242,820
73.5
Larry Langford Carole Smitherman
Baton Rouge, LA 227,818
50.0
Melvin "Kip" Holden
Shreveport, LA 200,145
50.8
Cedric B. Glover
Richmond, VA 197,790
57.2
L. Douglas Wilder Dwight C. Jones
Durham, NC 187,035
43.8
William V. Bell
Jackson, MS 184,256
70.6
Frank Melton Harvey Johnson
Savannah, GA 131,510
57.1
Otis S. Johnson
Alexandria, VA 128,283
22.5
William D. Euille
Lancaster, CA 118,718
16.0
Henry W. Hearns
Inglewood, CA 112,580
47.1
Roosevelt Dorn
Miami Gardens, FL 105,414
79.0
Shirley Gibson
Portsmouth, VA 100,565
50.6
James Holley III
Compton, CA 93,493
40.3
Eric Perrodin
Trenton, NJ 85,403
52.1
Douglas H. Palmer Tony F. Mack
Youngstown, OH 82,026
43.8
Jay Williams
Camden, NJ 79,904
53.3
Gwendolyn Faison
Southfield, MI 78,296
54.2
Brenda Lawrence
Albany, GA 76,939
64.8
Willie Adams, Jr.
Evanston Township, IL 74,239
22.5
Patricia A Vance
Evanston, IL 74,239
22.5
Lorraine Morton
Wilmington, DE 72,664
56.4
James M. Baker
East Orange, NJ 69,824
89.5
Robert Bowser
Asheville, NC 68,889
17.6
Terry Bellamy
Mt. Vernon, NY 68,381
59.6
Clinton Young
Pontiac, MI 66,337
47.9
Clarence Phillips
Daytona Beach, FL 64,112
32.7
Yvonne Scarlett-Golden
Saginaw, MI 61,799
43.3
Joyce Seals
Irvington, NJ 60,695
81.7
Wayne Smith
Hempstead Village, NY 56,554
25.7
Wayne Hall
Pine Bluff, AR 55,085
65.9
Carl Redus
Monroe, LA 53,107
61.1
James Mayo

One of the more unlikely persons on the list is Terry Bellamy of Asheville, NC. Bellamy is a black woman mayor in a city that is only 17.6% African American. The only city on the list with a smaller black percentage of the population is Lancaster, CA, with a percentage of 16.0%. When Bellamy was elected in November 2005, she became the youngest mayor in North Carolina, the youngest Mayor ever elected in Asheville and the first African-American to serve as Mayor in Asheville.

This is some footage of Bellamy giving a talk in front of Asheville city hall in April of 2007:

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10 comments

    • Ray

      Mayor Brown has hired a full time photographer for his personal use. I guess that is to help him govern the city. This is a self serving person with a large ego who is not a professional. But, he got elected. How did that happen? Voter fraud maybe?

  1. budd mann

    The Mayors of Detroit , Baltimore , Memphis , Oakland , Trenton , Newark ,Camden , Philly , DC, Buffalo , Compton , Pontiac don’t have anything to be proud of . Their city’s are complete failure’s about bankrupt and the streets over run with crime. The city’s are losing population and jobs…..Yet people keep voting these clowns back into office then complain that their city’s suck…..

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