(Reuters) – Montgomery, the capital of the southern U.S. state of Alabama, referred to as the birthplace of the civil rights motion for its 1950s bus boycotts over segregated seating, has elected the primary black mayor in its 200-year historical past.
Steven Reed, a county probate decide who’s black, defeated David Woods, a white businessman who owns a regional tv station, unofficial outcomes posted on-line by the town present, by successful 67 p.c of the vote in a nonpartisan runoff.
Media pictures on-line confirmed Reed supporters holding up marketing campaign T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan, “We made historical past,” within the metropolis of about 200,000, about 60 p.c of whom are African American, in line with the U.S. Census Bureau.
“This election has by no means been about me,” Mayor-elect Reed stated in his victory speech late on Tuesday, in line with the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper.
“This election has by no means been about simply my concepts. It’s been about all of the hopes and goals we’ve got as people and collectively on this metropolis.”
Reed’s victory got here in a metropolis nonetheless attending to phrases with its previous. It was the primary capital of the Accomplice States of America in 1861.
Final yr, the Equal Justice Initiative opened the Nationwide Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum in downtown Montgomery to honor victims of lynching within the racially segregated period after the U.S. Civil Conflict.
Town is the location of the Montgomery bus boycott, a year-long civil rights protest that began in 1955, led by black seamstress Rosa Parks, who refused to surrender her seat to a white patron, because the regulation then required, and was famously jailed.
The U.S. Supreme Court docket in the end ordered Montgomery to combine its bus system, and one of many boycott leaders was the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., who would emerge as probably the most outstanding chief of the American civil rights motion.
Reed was additionally the primary African-American elected the county’s probate decide in 2012, the Advertiser stated. In 2015, he was the primary probate decide in Alabama to concern same-sex marriage licenses.
Reed is scheduled to be sworn into workplace on Nov. 12 at metropolis corridor.
Reporting by Wealthy McKay in Atlanta; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez