The state Senate voted 28-0 Thursday for a bill that would protect Alabama’s oldest black-run city from challenges to its status as a municipality.
“We are once again indeed a city,” said Alberta McCrory, mayor of Hobson City, a town of about 800 people between Anniston and Oxford.
Founded in 1899, Hobson City became the first all-black city in Alabama, and one of only a few in the South, after Oxford redrew its city limits to exclude black voters. For at least 20 years after its founding, white political leaders posed various legal challenges to the city’s existence.
One of those challenges may have succeeded. After running into problems applying for grants, McCrory said, city leaders realized the status of the city’s charter was still in question.
House Bill 86, by Rep. Barbara Boyd, R-Anniston, would grant city status to any entity formed in 1896 or afterward, provided it has functioned continuously as a city, despite any discrepancies in its founding documents or challenges to its existence.
The bill passed the House last month with little opposition. It sailed through the Senate with little comment Thursday. It will need the signature of Gov. Kay Ivey before it can become law.
Ivey spokesman Daniel Sparkman said the governor’s legal team will have to study the bill before she decides whether to sign.