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Title: The Black Politics of Baltimore: From Kurt Schmoke to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Authors: Wong, Alexandra
Advisors: Taylor, Keeanga-Yammahta
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Inspired by the death of Freddie Gray and the rebellions that ensued, I became interested in the relationship between Baltimore’s black leaders and the city’s recent unrest. In this project I explore the development of black politics in Baltimore, by studying the city’s first black mayor, Kurt Schmoke, and the city’s current black mayor, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. Though the literature has characterized both Schmoke and Rawlings-Blake as deracialized in nature, I hypothesize that Schmoke and Rawlings-Blake have different political styles, with the shift between their politics mirroring a broader shift that has occurred within black politics more generally. In order to prove my hypothesis, I conducted an in depth study of the political careers of Kurt Schmoke and Stephanie Rawlings-Blake by examining their campaigns, agendas, and policies. In order to do so, I analyzed over 15,000 newspaper articles, ten years worth of Schmoke’s “Mayoral Papers,” and three of Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s Budget Proposals. After conducting such research, I found a substantial difference in the political styles and types of policies implemented by the two mayors. While Mayor Schmoke emphasized and promoted racialized issues, Mayor Rawlings- Blake has conducted herself in a consistently deracialized way, which has implications for both the 2015 unrest and the current trends and weaknesses in black politics.
Extent: 108 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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