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“ASHEVILLE – It was a year city voters made history, breaking long-standing barriers of race and sex.
That momentous time was 1969.
Nearly half a century ago in one election, Asheville voters picked the first African-American council member and the first woman ever to serve on that body.
The changes happened despite institutional racism and cemented gender roles.” (Ruben J. Dailey was elected as the first African American on Asheville City Council and Barbara C. Keleher was the first woman elected to Asheville City Council.)
“Forty-eight years later, this fall’s election put two African-Americans, an Asian-American and a Jewish mayor on council, making it the most diverse governing body Asheville has ever seen. In another historic first, women became a majority.
Those demographic lines were crossed despite a shrinking African-American population and women continuing to face different burdens than men, said Mayor Esther Manheimer, one of four women on the seven-member council.” Asheville Citizen-Times December 27, 2017.
Post by Zoe Rhine North Carolina Room librarian.