What happened when a Black Tennessee town faced a state takeover

When Mason, Tennessee, faced losing its ability to govern its own finances in a fight with white state officials earlier this year, doing so brought a spotlight to the majority Black community of fewer than 1,600 people for a situation that town advocates called discriminatory.

For months, Mason battled for its own financial control after the town refused to give up its charter, prompting the state to formally take over its finances shortly after carmaker Ford announced a major project nearby. But in May, Mason officials dropped a lawsuit they brought to Tennessee’s Chancery Court against state officials, after agreeing to more favorable terms, signaling the lengthy feud between the town and the state over racial discrimination and autonomy is coming to an end.

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