RACES: New Mayor in Town

The residents of Prichard, a decaying and listless town of 41,000 people on the outskirts of Mobile, had not known such excitement since Alabama Governor George Wallace last gave his rousing annual Labor Day address in a local park. There, behind the screaming sirens of the escorting police motorcycles, came four Lincoln Continentals, a white Cadillac, a marching band and an ROTC drill team. The town, almost equally divided between blue collar whites and impoverished blacks, was parading to inaugurate its new and unlikely mayor: Algernon ("Jay") Cooper Jr., 28, a smooth and sophisticated Northern-educated black.

Morale. The election of...

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