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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flying with James Young

In case you haven't heard, James Young is the first African American mayor of Philadelphia, Mississippi. In case you think you never heard of Philadelphia, Mississippi, it has a population of 8,000 and is best known for its notorious past. On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers -- James Chaney, a 21-year-old black man from Mississippi; Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, both activists from New York -- were shot to death at the edge of town. The killings inspired the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning."

Mayor-elect Young spoke about his victory "When you've been treated the way we've been treated ... it's so overwhelming". Despite a 55 percent white majority, Young defeated Rayburn Waddell, a white, three-term incumbent, by the slim margin of 46 votes.

Read more about this history making event at

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