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Black Austin Public Transit Authority Board Member Says Blacks Shouldn’t Be Hired

Texas

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 10/3/2017, 10:28 a.m.
The sole African-American member of the board overseeing Austin's public...
Beverly Silas

The sole African-American member of the board overseeing Austin's public transportation authority has said a Black executive should not be hired to lead the transit agency. Beverly Silas made the remark during last month’s meeting of the Capital Metro board as members discussed hiring a new CEO and president. A video recording of the meeting shows her saying, “Austin is not the place for them.” Silas clarified Friday to the Austin American-Statesman that she doesn't oppose hiring an African-American. But she says that, “because of the environment here, they might be subject to failure.” Silas says Austin has drawn strong Black managers who excelled in prior roles but ran into problems when they took posts in the capital. U.S. Census figures in 2014 show Austin had an African-American population of just 8 percent.