Change Comes to Mississippi

From the Daily Telegraph:
Down the Mississippi: Barack Obama effect ends white rule in Deep South town

A tiny Mississippi delta town has elected its first black mayor after the white incumbent, unopposed for 30 years, faced a young challenger inspired by President Barack Obama’s feat in winning the White House.

In a shock result in Alligator (population 220), Tommie “Tomaso” Brown, 38, defeated Robert Fava, the mayor since 1979, owner of the general store and once his opponent’s boss, by 37 votes to 27.

Mr Brown’s surprise victory was a milestone for Alligator, which is named after the curving lake nearby rather than the alligators that once occupied it. Although the only three businesses in the shrinking, tumble-down town are run by whites, three-quarters of the population is now black.

“They wanted a black mayor,” said a philosophical Mr Fava, 71. “Another Obama – I think that’s what brought it on. I ran on ’30 years of dedicated service’ and he ran on ’Change’. He promised a swimming pool and a recreation centre, which he can’t do.

Full article here.

Mr Brown was the first black man ever to stand for Mayor of Alligator and it took Mr Obama’s election to galvanise him into action. “Obama was a major influence on everybody,” he said, almost drowned out by the chirping of crickets in the sweltering afternoon heat. “He inspired me. I’m not going to take that from him.

I found this part particularly inspiring:

Some youngsters ran into Mr Fava’s store to taunt him. “They was pulling down their pants, shouting, ’Kiss my black ass, because we got a black mayor’, swinging their things around and throwing stuff,” said Jennifer Green, 31, a black mother of 10.

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