In more #BlackGirlMagic news, the small rural town of Douglasville, Georgia elected it’s first African-American and female mayor in the town’s 141-year old history.
On Dec 1, Rochelle Robinson, 52, defeated her opponent and incumbent Harvey Persons in a runoff election, taking home a whopping 62 percent of the vote. For Robinson, who ran for mayor in 2011 and lost the run-off election by a mere 88 votes, the morning of the election was overwhelming, but she found solace in a big Black history fact.
“That was the first thing that came to my memory: Rosa Parks sat down 60 years ago today, so that I could stand up in this city…I’m standing on so many shoulders. I did not get here by myself,” she told the Huffington Post.
Despite the minister, former city council and mother of three believing winning the election was “God’s destiny,” Robinson’s journey down the campaign trail wasn’t always a smooth one. She had to fight potential felony charges filed against her that accused her of campaigning too close to a polling station in town. It’s not known who exactly made those complaints given that the information is private, but Persons, her opponent claims he had nothing to do with it, Rolling Out reported.
Yet, Robinson has brushed off those minor hiccups and is focused on achieving her many goals during her tenure as mayor, which include collaborating more with the city council to ensure that Douglasville is more inclusive for everyone who lives there regardless of race, gender and politic party, she told CBS Radio Atlanta V-103 in a recent interview.
Robinson’s win shows a growing trend of new Black leadership in Douglasville.
A few months ago, “Gary Sparks became the city’s first-ever Black police chief and last December Marcia Hampton became the first-ever Black (or female) city manager,” notes the Huffington Post. It’s believed that the shift in racial demographics has helped usher in this change.
Fifteen years ago, Douglasville, which is twenty miles west of Atlanta, was predominately white, where they accounted for 60 percent of the population, while Blacks made up only 30 percent. But according to 2010 Census data that no longer is the case: African-Americans account for 56 percent of Douglasville’s population with whites a mere thirty-six.