Alabama’s First African American Mayor

Steven Reed sworn-in as Montgomery’s first black mayor

By Vivian Kringle

Montgomery, Alabama: the birthplace for the civil rights movement, the place where Rosa Park was arrested starting the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, and the march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Civil Rights took another large step forward this month by electing Alabama’s first African American mayor, Steven Reed, who emphasizes how important it is for him to be “a part of that history.”

Steven Reed ran for mayor in the 2019 election, winning and earning a spot for the first African American Mayor on November 12, 2019. Reed was born in Montgomery and is the son of Joe Reed, one of the first black members of the Montgomery City Council and activist for social change. Steven Reed followed in his father’s footsteps by standing up for social change and wanting to  “bridge the gap from looking at the past and building toward the future.” 

Reed touches on the fact in an interview with Sister Circle That he could have never imagined this for himself growing up in Alabama explaining the change we have seen in the world is what has allowed a man “whose father led sit in protests for equal treatment under the law can now take this oath and help write laws that apply equally to all.”  Reed initially tried to start his own business and went down that route until he  “got frustrated with the lack of progress” in Alabama and decided to get into politics. 

Reed speaks in his inauguration about the change he is pushing to see. He explains that he wants to  “build around positivity, around opportunity, and all the things that tie us together.” Reed continuously celebrates the change while pursuing for even more. I stand hopeful to see the changes Steven Reed will be able to make and in the words of Reed, “Let us mark this day in remembrance of who we are and how far we’ve come.”

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