Black people helped settle the town of Edmond in the 19th century but were then excluded for decades. Now Darrell Davis will lead it.
BRENT SKARKY: Well, history has been made here in Edmond. Once a sundown town, now the first African-American has been voted in as mayor.
DARRELL DAVIS: I feel great. The city's is still welcoming of me, and that's what brought me here over 32 years ago.
BRENT SKARKY: Former City Councilman Darrell Davis wins his election Tuesday night and will become the first black mayor in Edmond history.
DARRELL DAVIS: We need to always embrace it. We don't need to hide it. And we need to look for opportunities to learn from that.
BRENT SKARKY: Davis referring to Edmond's record on race relations. African-Americans helped settle the town in the late 1800s but--
AMY STEPHENS: Between about 1920 and 1970, black people were not living here. It was even called a 100% white town.
BRENT SKARKY: Edmond also referred to as a sundown town.
AMY STEPHENS: If you are African-American, you are not allowed in our town after dark. But, during the day, they would come and work.
BRENT SKARKY: But the tide started to turn in the 1950s when black students were first admitted to what is now the University of Central Oklahoma.
CHRIS LEHMAN: It was only through UCO that African-Americans were able to come to Edmond after 1920.
BRENT SKARKY: Chris Lehman is the son of Paul Lehman, the first black professor at UCO in 1969. His dad had to commute from Oklahoma City. The family finally able to get a home in Edmond in 1976. He says the city has come a long way since the 1920s.
CHRIS LEHMAN: I'm very proud. This is certainly a long time in coming. I mean, to see someone African-American to be the mayor of that same city a whole century later, it's-- it's remarkable.
BRENT SKARKY: As for Davis, the retired Tinker employee wants to be a role model.
DARRELL DAVIS: For me to become the first black mayor in Edmond, it's just a wonderful feeling. With Edmond and their previous past, this will show people in the future that you still have an opportunity in this town to succeed. And I want to be that example for everybody.