City Wards and Jacksonian Democracy

Chris Danielson

in After Freedom Summer

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780813037387
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813042350 | DOI:
City Wards and Jacksonian Democracy

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This chapter deals with the efforts by civil rights activists to undo at-large elections and the city commission form of government in Jackson, Mississippi, the state's capital and largest city. While some white politicians and reformers supported adopting a ward system, white voters kept the at-large system that inhibited black electoral power. Like county redistricting, the initial efforts of the black civil rights activists to undo the system were stymied by the inability to prove racist intent on the part of the city. The strengthened Voting Rights Act of 1982 changed those circumstances and led to the adoption of a ward system of government which brought about the election of the first blacks and women to the city government in the twentieth century.

Keywords: Wards; at-large elections; commissions; city government; Voting Rights Act

Chapter.  7270 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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