There were once 3 capitals of the Confederacy. All three cities now have black mayors.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – The tides of history continue to turn.

Montgomery County probate judge Steven Reed won a runoff election to become the first black mayor of the city founded in 1819. He defeated television station owner David Woods by more than 16,000 votes.

The Confederacy had three capital cities at varying points: Montgomery, Alabama; Richmond, Virginia; and Danville, Virginia.

But thanks to the election of Steven Reed on Tuesday in Montgomery, all three cities now have black mayors.

Here’s what you need to know about the cities and their mayors.

Montgomery, Alabama
Also known as the first capital of the Confederacy in the early Civil War period, Montgomery has a complicated history. The city is the birthplace of the civil rights movement, but many of its streets and schools still bear Confederate names.

And despite its population being 60% black or African-American, the city — founded in 1819 — has never had a black mayor.

That changed Tuesday with the election of Steven Reed, a Montgomery County probate judge.

“Let the record show tonight, above all … what we can do when we come together in this city and we build around positivity, around opportunity, and all the things that tie us together versus those things that keep us apart,” Reed told supporters at a rally turned victory party.

Richmond, Virginia
Richmond was the second capital of the Confederacy, and for the longest period — from 1861 to 1865.

Unlike Montgomery, Richmond, the capital of Virginia, has had a few black mayors throughout its history.

The city elected its first black mayor, Henry Marsh, in 1977 and has had seven more since then, including current Mayor Levar Stoney. He was sworn in on the last day of 2016, the youngest mayor ever elected in the city.

Stoney was named by LGBTQ advocacy group Equality Virginia as one of its “Outstanding Virginians” in 2019.

Danville, Virginia
Danville was the capital for only eight days, after Richmond fell, but it still counts.

Just three years after Richmond elected its first black mayor, Danville followed suit — electing Charles Harris in 1980.

The current mayor is also black: Alonzo Jones, who was elected last year.

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