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Pa. City Torn by Racial Strife Elects Black Mayor

Saturday, 28 Nov 2009 12:51 PM

YORK, Pa. -- A little girl who trembled in her house in York during race riots in 1969 has grown up to become the first black mayor of the central Pennsylvania city.

Forty-five-year-old Kim Bracey is an energetic veteran of the struggling city's improvement efforts. She will take office in January, to the delight of many African-Americans who thought they would never see a black mayor.

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Bracey inherits a city of 40,000 that is barely able to pay its bills as it loses the manufacturing jobs that helped build it up. Poverty is becoming as entrenched as the racial animosity that led to York's deadly riots 40 years ago.

Racial harmony or becoming York's first black mayor was not part of her platform. But many view Bracey's election as an achievement in a city that has a legacy of racial strife.

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