There's Hope for the World : The Memoir of Birmingham, Alabama's First African American Mayor

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-10-12
  • Publisher: Univ of Alabama Pr
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On a sultry September morning in 1955, a young African American man, the son of share corppers, boarded a Greyhound bus in Birmingham, Alabama, to leave his home state for the first time in his life. He was headed for the University of Detroit on a teaching scholarship from Miles College. Richard Arrington could not have guessed then that his future as a teacher would be postponed for decades by big-city politics--and that he would serve a record-setting five terms as chief executive of Alabamars"s largest city. Under Arringtonrs"s leadership, Birmingham rebuilt itself from a foundering, steel-driven industrial center to one of the most diversified metropolitan areas in the Southeast, with an economy fueled by health care, biomedical research, engineering, telecommunications, and banking. As mayor, Arringtonrs"s economic legacy is impressive. When he left office, Birmingham boasted a record number of jobs and the lowest unemployment rate in its history. Additionally, Birmingham had built the strongest tax base in Alabama, expanded its city limits by 60 square miles, reduced crime to its lowest level in 25 years, and funded a $260 million school construction program. Today Birmingham is financially sound and is the only city in the Southeast with a $100 million endowment fund.

Author Biography

Richard Arrington holds a Ph.D. in zoology and biochemistry and did postdoctoral work in higher education administration at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.  During his two decades as Birmingham’s mayor, he served on dozens of community service boards and the Executive Committee of the Alabama Democratic Party and chair of the National Democratic Party’s Platform Committee for the 1980 Convention. He was selected as one of the Top 20 City Officials in the nation by U.S. News & World Report

Table of Contents

Prefacep. vii
Leaving City Hall: The Last Dayp. 1
Early Life Overview: The Journey from Sharecropping to City Hallp. 19
The Call of Political Leadership: The Council Race and First Mayoral Election (A Revival of Hope)p. 45
Police Brutality: Terrorism in Birminghamp. 65
Police Reform: A First Priorityp. 79
The Controversial Reign of Chief Artie Deutschp. 91
The Beginning of the Federal Investigationp. 115
In the Eye of a Corruption Probe: FBI Surveillancep. 133
Feds Designate Me as a Target of Grand Jury Investigationp. 151
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI)p. 169
Keeping the City Viable: Annexations and Economic Developmentp. 179
The Jefferson County Citizens Coalition (JCCC)p. 197
Politics and Football: The University of Alabama, Auburn, UAB, and the Magic City Classicp. 211
Stepping-stones: Transition and Reconciliationp. 229
Notesp. 247
Indexp. 257
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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