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After Freedom SummerHow Race Realigned Mississippi Politics, 1965-1986$
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Chris Danielson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780813037387

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813037387.001.0001

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City Wards and Jacksonian Democracy

City Wards and Jacksonian Democracy

(p.171) 8 City Wards and Jacksonian Democracy
After Freedom Summer

Chris Danielson

University Press of Florida

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

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