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PHOTO ESSAY

Blacks in Politics, Part 2

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Sharon Pratt Kelly

Courtesy of Reuters/Bettmann

In 1990 Sharon Pratt Kelly was elected mayor of Washington, D.C., becoming the first black woman mayor of a major city. At the time of her election Washington, D.C., was plagued by a multitude of problems, including homelessness, unemployment, a failing public school system, and high levels of drug use, and voters looked to Pratt Kelly to bring change to the city. Once in office, however, Pratt Kelly proved unable to deliver on many of her promises, including her desire to secure statehood for the nation's capital, and began to lose the support of her constituents. Pratt Kelly served for only one term. Her predecessor, Marion Barry, who had been serving time for cocaine procession, defeated her in 1994.

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