Government of Memphis, Tennessee - Racial Polarization

Racial Polarization

Memphis politics have been very racially—and ideologically—polarized for many years. Most whites have supported the Republican Party since the 1960s, while most blacks have remained loyal to the Democratic Party.

A major influence in Memphis' black politics is the Ford family of funeral directors, whose political prominence dates to the Crump era. The best-known member of this family is Harold Ford, Sr., who represented most of Memphis in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1997. His brother, John, was a state senator for 30 years, but in 2007 was convicted on federal bribery charges in the Tennessee Waltz scandal.

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