Black In Power: Black Women Mayors Make History For 3 North Carolina Towns

Black In Power: Black Women Mayors Make History For 3 North Carolina Towns

Three Black women made history as the first Black women mayors of their respective North Carolina towns.

Three towns in North Carolina are making history with Black women newly elected as their mayors. The new leaders of Butner, Carrboro, and Henderson, North Carolina are delighted to be part of a shift for diversity in the state.

The newly elected officials spoke to ABC11 on becoming the first Black women mayors in their towns. Henderson’s mayor, Melissa Elliot, won after an intense race but emphasized that being a voice for her more vulnerable constituents is of utmost importance.

“You have to understand. Fourteen decades, 142 years of just men, and so now here I’m on the scene,” explained Elliot. “Not only am I a woman, but I’m a Black woman. That’s double history. It’s also a double threat if you look at it and when you deal with people that have been maximizing off of poor folk. I have a voice, and I’m going to use it, and so I’m an advocate, a strong advocate.”

Her fellow Black women mayors share similar thoughts, with Dr. Linda Jordon of Butner wanting to encourage others to put their name into the running for public office.

“Let’s not wait around for someone else to get the job done. Let’s get out there and do it ourselves. And I’ve seen more women be entrepreneurs as well as stepping up to the plate to be in public service,” shared Dr. Jordon. “I want my legacy to be that there’s a leader in the community who is inclusive, who wants to allow people to have their voices heard.”

Carrboro’s mayor, Barbara Foushee, is also a force within her industry and her newest role in politics. Foushee is a scientist in a molecular oncology lab, which showcases that one can give back while still pursuing their varied career goals. According to the African American Mayors Association, they are joined by eight other Black mayors within the state, including two that are women, as they promote diverse local leadership.

All three women are contributing to the rise of Black mayors around the country and are a step in representation for voters of color.

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