The Limits of Black Power

African Americans have seized control of city halls across the nation, but their rise has done little to ease the plight of their most downtrodden constituents

TOM BRADLEY BASED HIS FIRST campaign for mayor of Los Angeles on the idea that his election could make a difference in the lives of average blacks. "I want to provide a sense of hope for our young people," he said in 1969. "I want them to be able to look at city hall and know that the system can work. I want them to know that change is possible. I want them to know that we can reshape the structure, that it doesn't have to be destroyed. I want them to know that in city hall sits a man with...

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