CONWAY, SC – (WBTW) Monday, Barbara Blain-Bellamy was sworn in as the City of Conway first African American mayor.
“If someone had said to me that you’ll stand one day and you’ll be the mayor of Conway, South Carolina I would have though that’s the most ludicrous thought there ever was,” said Barbara Blain-Bellamy.
Blain-Bellamy was sworn in surrounded by dozens of members of the community; city council chambers were so packed people were forced into other rooms to try and get a view.
Blain-Bellamy isn’t the only person in her family who will go down in history for changing precedents.
She says her father was the first African American police officer in Horry County, but unlike Monday’s welcoming, Blain-Bellamy says her father was met with disdain and distrust.
Decades later she says the focus on race has changed.
“It wasn’t because I was black, and people didn’t vote against me because I was black,” said Blain-Bellamy.
She says living in Conway her whole life and working as a social worker and lawyer is what got her elected.
Blain-Bellamy says she plans to continue to help the community.
“We’ve got to adjust and work in new ways and we have to use new information to be able to withstand all of the new things that stand to be a detriment to our growth and our progress,” she says.
And there was no delay; after being sworn in Blain-Bellamy chaired her first city council meeting.
Blain-Bellamy who served on council for Conway for years says she wants to focus on getting the community more involved with politics as well as keeping the town safer.