The Black Preacher in America

The Black Preacher in America

The Black Preacher in America

The Black Preacher in America

Excerpt

In November, 1969, a young black man won the councilmanic seat in central Harlem on the Liberal-party ticket. It was an unusual victory in many ways, but most importantly because the black Fifth District traditionally voted for the Democratic candidate, not for the Liberal or Republican candidate. This year, however, the Democratic party had a man leading the ticket for mayor, Mario Procaccino, who was looked upon as too conservative and as a "law and order" candidate (meaning, of course, against mass black protests). The black candidate on the Democratic ticket, Jesse Gray, was a popular civil-rights leader with a long history of leading rent strikes against exploitative landlords in Harlem. But Gray was saddled with an unfortunate figure at the top of the ticket, and they both lost. Charles Taylor won, campaigning on the slogan "A vote for Taylor is a vote for Lindsay." John Lindsay, considered to be far more progressive than either the Democratic or Republican candidates, had lost his Republican primary fight for mayor the previous June to a staunch conservative, so Lindsay, the incumbent mayor, had to run on the Liberal-party ticket.

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