Roosevelt City

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This article is about the former municipality. For the current Birmingham neighborhood, see Roosevelt.

Roosevelt City was a majority African-American incorporated municipality located between Midfield, Lipscomb, Brighton and Brownville to the southwest of Birmingham.

The community, sometimes referred to as "Niggertown," was unable to secure services from neighboring cities, even though state law dictated that business taxes in the unincorporated area would be paid to the nearest municipality.

With help from attorney Orzell Billingsley, Roosevelt City pursued incorporation as its own separate municipality. The Alabama State Legislature passed an amendment proposed by State Senator Richard Dominick to restrict Jefferson County communities within three miles of another city from incorporating, but Roosevelt City completed the process on October 23, 1967 before the new law could take effect.

Freddie Rogers served as Roosevelt City's first and only mayor. The new city quickly obtained federal grant funding to pay for new services such as police and fire departments and construction of a Roosevelt City Community Center. Rogers hoped to annex neighboring Lipscomb and other areas into the city, but those plans were never realized. Over time, Roosevelt city's anemic tax base threatened to bankrupt the city.

Roosevelt City held a special election on July 12, 1988 and voted 718 to 404 to be annexed into Birmingham. The vote was contested, but it was upheld by the Alabama Supreme Court in August 1989.

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