It was in Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery, where African American activist Rosa Parks led the bus boycott in 1955, paving the way for broader civil rights demands. Now, more than 70 years later, Montgomery has selected the first black mayor in its 200-year history: Steven Reed, a county probate judge.
Reed beat local TV station owner David Woods by a decisive majority to become mayor of Montgomery, marking a historic day for the city, which was the first capital of the slave-owning Confederate States of America in the 1800s. The 45-year-old will be sworn into office in November, replacing current mayor Todd Strange, who has held the office since 2009 and did not run for reelection.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, prior to the October election, Montgomery was one of three cities with a population of over 100,000 in the Deep South that had never elected a black mayor.