Political Black Girl Magic explores black women’s experiences as mayors in American cities. The editor and contributors to this comprehensive volume examine black female mayoral campaigns and elections where race and gender are a factor—and where deracialized campaigns have garnered candidate support from white as well as Hispanic and Asian American voters. Chapters also consider how Black female mayors govern, from discussions of their pursuit of economic growth and how they use their power to enact positive reforms to the challenges they face that inhibit their abilities to cater to neglected communities.
Case studies in this interdisciplinary volume include female mayors in Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Chicago, Compton, and Washington, DC, among other cities, along with discussion of each official’s political context. Covering mayors from the 1960s to the present, Political Black Girl Magic identifies the most significant obstacles black women have faced as mayors and mayoral candidates, and seeks to understand how race, gender, or the combination of both affected them.
Contributors: Andrea Benjamin, Nadia E. Brown, Pearl K. Dowe, Christina Greer, Precious Hall, Valerie C. Johnson, Yolanda Jones, Lauren King, Angela K. Lewis-Maddox, Minion K.C. Morrison, Marcella Mulholland, Stephanie A. Pink-Harper, Kelly Briana Richardson, Emmitt Y. Riley, III, Ashley Robertson Preston, Taisha Saintil, Jamil Scott, Fatemeh Shafiei, James Lance Taylor, LaRaven Temoney, Linda Trautman, and the editor
Sharon D. Wright Austin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. She is the author of several articles and books, including The Caribbeanization of Black Politics: Race, Group Consciousness, andPolitical Participation in America and The Transformation of Plantation Politics: Black Politics, Concentrated Poverty, and Social Capital in the Mississippi Delta.
“An impressive, well-researched, and thorough look at the complex leadership of Black women mayors. The editor and contributors explore the intersections of race and gender in the elections, administrative styles, and media coverage about Black women in positions of power and offer provocative questions and answers about the nature of politics in the United States. With a depth and scope that recognizes the distinct features of region and location, Political Black Girl Magic is essential reading for anyone interested in leadership and racial justice.”—Marcia Chatelain, Pulitzer Prize–winning historian and author of Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America
“Sharon Wright Austin has assembled a dynamic team of mostly women scholars to cover an important yet understudied topic: Black women in American state and local government and politics. Thick with carefully detailed demographic data and individual case studies of Black women’s campaigns and governance, Political Black Girl Magic takes readers from the election of the first Black woman mayor through to the politics of today. This book is an outstanding and significant contribution to the discipline.”—Keneshia N. Grant, Associate Professor of Political Science at Howard University, and author of The Great Migration and the Democratic Party: Black Voters and the Realignment of American Politics in the 20th Century (Temple)
"The book answers the call for research on Black female mayors in an admirably detailed, comprehensive, and instructive fashion.... The book should serve as a valuable sourcebook for future research on this vital topic."—Ethnic and Racial Studies