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Race Matters: First Black Mississippi Mayor Loses

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The year America inaugurated its first Black president and 2009 will also be known as the year a small Mississippi town voted its first Black mayor out of office, according to the Los Angeles Times. Mayor Sheriel F. Perkins was up for re-election Tuesday in Greenwood, a tiny racially divided town in the heart of the Delta. Perkins, 53, a longtime City Council member, lost against Carolyn McAdams who is White. McAdams, 61, had cast herself, as had Perkins, as a unifying figure. Many Blacks, she said, had come to trust her in her years working at the nearby private prison and, before that, at the housing authority. The new mayor says that Greenwood's residents, Black and White, know she's fair and doesn't see color. McAdams won 57 percent of the town's votes while Perkins received 43 percent.—BB

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