Mavis Nimoh

University of Rhode Island

Political Science


2001

Mentor: Dr. Ross Gittell, Associate Professor of Management

What Effect has Black Leadership had on the Socioeconomic Standing of their Constituents? A Case Study of Mayoral Politics in Atlanta

African-Americans of the postindustrial movement in the United States faced with rising poverty and limited social reforms helped to set the stage for the election of African-American mayors in the nation's largest cities. The growth of African-American mayors in major cities and their successes in the midst of the economic and social deterioration of their inner cites are reviewed in this essay.

This essay further looks into the city of Atlanta, Georgia. It has a rising black middle class and has had a consistent track record of electing black mayors over the past thirty years. Dubbed, the "Black Mecca" of the South, Atlanta has been a growing hub of corporate interests. This essay shows the connection between the growing affluence and stable economy of Atlanta and its black leadership. Has an African-American mayor contributed to the socioeconomic rise of African-Americans in Atlanta is the question this essay seeks to answer. A descriptive and statistical analysis of data from U.S. Census on blacks in Atlanta is utilized as well as a comparative assessment of the variables that have contributed to the success, stagnation, or downfall of the socioeconomic standing of African-Americans in that city.

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