In recognition of the City of Flint’s first Black mayor Floyd J. McCree, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, along with Community Foundation leadership and McCree family members, unveiled the Floyd J. McCree bronze statue on the front lawn of Flint City Hall on Monday, April 4.
"This is a long overdue honor for the City of Flint’s first African-American mayor, Floyd McCree. He is one of our great pillars in the community that continued to serve the residents of Flint long after his term ended,” said Mayor Neeley. “This statue to be permanently placed on the lawn in front of City Hall will forever represent Floyd’s local and nationwide steadfast fight for justice and equality. I want to thank artist Joe Rundell for his amazing work in sculpting the McCree statue."
Appointed the first Black mayor of a major metropolitan city in the United States, Floyd J. McCree was sworn into office as Mayor of the City of Flint in 1966. Historic for its time, Mayor McCree was also the first Black mayor in Michigan. He was well-known for his leadership among United Auto Workers union membership at the Buick foundry. McCree was elected to the Flint City Commission who later appointed him as mayor. He served in that capacity from 1966-1968.
Called “the People’s Mayor,” McCree fought for adoption of a fair housing ordinance in Flint. Passed by a margin of only 43 votes, the ordinance allowed Blacks to purchase homes in white neighborhoods. The first of its kind, Flint’s new housing standards set an example for other American cities to follow.
The McCree family honored Floyd J. McCree’s legacy through the creation of the Floyd J. McCree Legacy Fund. Founded by grandson Kyle McCree of Flint, the fund supports the creation and placement of the statue, along with future maintenance, educational, and programmatic support. The project strengthens the commitment and partnership of the Community Foundation and the City of Flint to Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation. Sharing histories of the city’s prominent Black leaders promotes ongoing dialogue of our community’s past milestones.
“The Community Foundation is honored to work in partnership with the McCree family, generous donors, and the city. Seeing this statue come to life, and the educational opportunities to follow, creates a transformative moment for our community,” said Isaiah M. Oliver, president and CEO.
Learn more about the Floyd J. McCree Legacy Fund by contacting Kenneth Vaughn, Development Officer, at 810-767-8270.