How have African Americans voted over time? What types of candidates and issues have been effective in drawing people to vote? These are just two of the questions that The African American Electorate: A Statistical History attempts to answer by bringing together all of the extant, fugitive, and recently discovered registration data on African American voters from Colonial America to the present. This pioneering work also traces the history of the laws dealing with enfranchisement and disenfranchisement of African Americans and provides the election return data for African American candidates in national and subnational elections over this same time span. Combining insightful narrative, tabular data, and original maps, The African American Electorate offers students and researchers the opportunity, for the first time, to explore the relationship between voters and political candidates, identify critical variables, and situate African Americans’ voting behavior and political phenomena in the context of America’s political history.

Chapter 28: Summary and Conclusions

Chapter 28: Summary and conclusions

One year before he launched the mass protest movement to re-enfranchise the southern African American electorate via the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote about the need for the African American electorate to re-enter this electoral democracy with an unfettered ballot. He wrote: “Nothing could be more important in the life of this nation and ...

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