Montgomery, Alabama, will swear in its first black mayor

Montgomery, Alabama, will swear in its first black mayor
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The man who will be Montgomery, Alabama's first African-American mayor wants his tenure to signal a new narrative for his 200-year-old city.

Alabama’s capital city, a hub of the civil rights movement decades ago, is about to inaugurate its first African-American mayor.

Steven Reed will be sworn in as mayor of Montgomery in a ceremony late Tuesday morning at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center.

Reed, a Montgomery County probate judge, won an October runoff to replace Mayor Todd Strange, who did not run for reelection after holding office since 2009.

It’s a historic moment for the 200-year-old city, which has a complicated racial history. A site of important civil rights events, it also was the first capital of the Confederacy early in the Civil War, and many streets and schools still bear Confederate names.

Montgomery was the site of the Rosa Parks-inspired bus boycott in 1955 and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, as well as the destination of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery protest marches that were met with brutal police violence and led to the Voting Rights Act.

The nation’s first memorial for more than 4,000 victims of lynchings opened there last year. About 60% of the city’s residents are black.

Reed, born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama’s second-largest city, told CNN after his victory last month that while a number of factors delayed the city’s election of a black mayor, it’s now time to move forward.

“We’ve been unified on the message of opportunity and creating an environment where people can live, learn and earn,” Reed said.

In Reed’s first 100 days in office, he wants to focus on public education and restoring trust between the police and the community, two issues he ran on, he told CNN.

“We want to let everyone know that this is a new Montgomery,” Reed said. “This is a new day, and we’re going to be a great part and a great asset to this country.”

CNN’s Faith Karimi, Eric Levenson and Aditi Sangal contributed to this report.