By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – African-American mayors from across the country traveled to Montgomery, Ala. Tuesday for the historical inauguration of Steven L. Reed, the city’s first black mayor.
Reed, a former probate judge and a financial analyst by trade, is the son of Joe Reed, one of the first blacks to serve the Montgomery City Council from 1975 to 1999. Montgomery was once the heart of the Confederacy and one of the major battlefields of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.
It was there where Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and started to finally break the back of Jim Crow laws in the South.
“As the president of the African American Mayors Association, it is my honor to join Mayor Reed in Montgomery to celebrate his historic election,” Hardie Davis, president of the African American Mayors Association and mayor of Augusta, Ga., said in a statement sent to Front Runner New Jersey.com.
“As one of the most important cities during the Civil Rights Movement and the current home of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which pays homage to the legacy of enslaved people, Montgomery continues to be a leader in the push for equality for all Americans,” Davis said.
Mayor Reed’s election honors the legacy of those that fought and died, on the same streets on which we celebrate today, for the opportunity to vote and elect diverse representatives. Montgomery will greatly benefit from his leadership and I look forward to working closely with him as a colleague mayor.”
Reed, a native of Montgomery, is part of a new crop of history-making black executive leaders. They include Colin Byrd the youngest mayor elected in Greenbelt, Md.; Timothy Ragland the first Black mayor of Talladega, Ala.; Shawyn Patterson-Howard, the first woman elected in Mt. Vernon, N.Y.; and Monique Owens, the first black mayor of Eastpointe, Mich.
“Mayor Reed’s election honors the legacy of those that fought and died, on the same streets on which we celebrate today, for the opportunity to vote and elect diverse representatives,” Davis said. “Montgomery will greatly benefit from his leadership and I look forward to working closely with him as a colleague mayor.”
Reed earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College, where he also lettered in football, and earned his MBA from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management.
A member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, Reed received the Dr. Martin Luther King Leadership Award for Governmental Service and was chosen as a New Deal Leader. As a probate judge, he delivered more than a million dollars’ worth of new voting machines and expanded the office’s efforts to increase voter participation.
Photo courtesy of Steven Reed, Mayor
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