This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Black Vote: African Americans As An Interest Group

3540 words - 14 pages

The Black Vote: African Americans as an Interest Group

The African-American community is comprised of 34 million people, and makes up approximately 12.8 percent of the American population (Barker, Jones, Tate 1999: 3). As such, it is the largest minority group in the United States. Yet, politically, the black community has never been able to sufficiently capitalize on that status in order to receive the full benefits of life in America. Today, African-Americans, hold less than 2 percent of the total number of elected positions in this country (Tate, 1994: 3) and the number of members within the community that actually partake in voting continues to drop. In spite of these statistics, as of 1984, a telephone survey found that 70 percent of Black Americans polled "strongly felt that the Black vote could make a difference in who gets elected at both the local and national levels, including… president" (Tate, 1994: 6). The black population still believes that voter participation can effect change in the government, and 75 percent believe that whatever happens to the group affects them personally, and so it is necessary to have a government that is sympathetic to the state of African-Americans in the United States.

As a result of this perceived common interest, one could say that the American black community constitutes an interest group of sorts, -- a group of people that share the same interests and are working toward common goals -- at least to a certain extent. At the very least, they have the potential to be an interest group, because although the majority of blacks feel that their future is tied to that of the entire race, there is a growing divide between blacks of different social classes, as well as a lack of organization, which is a key factor to initiating change. The black community relies on the strength of their vote, but in order to capitalize on voting strength, and turn it into political power:

A group must be able to maximize voter registration and voter turnout, develop institutional structures for recruiting supportive candidates for public office and mobilize support for such candidates. Once… elected, the group must develop a system to hold the candidates responsible to the group. (Barker, Jones, Tate 1999: 73)

In effect, they must capitalize on their ability to come together as an interest group and to create some form of accountability for whoever they support politically. Until recently, the black community has not been able to do so often or consistently, because of their minority status (due to lack of size they must rely on strategic voting and the black community hasn't always been ideally located to capitalize on that), and intense party loyalties.

The Black Vote Historically

Ever since Lincoln's emancipation proclamation, African-Americans had been Republican. The GOP was the party of Lincoln, the party that had given them the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. The Republican Party supported...

Find Another Essay On The Black Vote: African Americans as an Interest Group

The Interest Group Essay

1023 words - 4 pages can be mobilized whether or not they have a connection to the group-can help in promoting the group’s position to public officials.      Groups use public relations techniques to shape public opinion as well as the opinions of policymakers. Ads in newspapers and magazines and on the radio and television supply information, foster an image, and promote a particular policy. A tactic commonly used by interest groups to influence public

Accounts of the civil rights Movement: This essay is an account of the civil rights movement as told by African Americans living in the US at that time

780 words - 3 pages available to mostblack students as illustrated by Ruth. Although conditions were better than slavery times, theywere still hard. Most African Americans had not made a good living yet. "I remember havingtwo dresses to wear to school. When I got home from school in the afternoon, I would have totake my dress off, wash it, and wear it again a day later,"says Ruth. "My father picked cotton fora living. My mother was white, but she stayed at home all day

African Americans In The Post

1485 words - 6 pages economic prosperity on its mind. The African Americans gained their emancipation and new rights through the battling Northern and Southern factions of the United States, not because a majority of the country felt that slavery possessed a ‘moral urgency’. As the years passed and the whites began to reconcile, their economic goals rose to the forefront of their policy, while racism spread throughout the country and deepened in the

The Persecution Of African Americans

1436 words - 6 pages make going back? Years went on and decades went on in the struggle for African Americans to find their unwanted place in America (Lana Bullock interview)”. “As a black people they have been continuously brought down with organization such as the K.K.K. Lynching’s heavily occurred after slavery. They had no help from the sworn protected officers to prevent theses hate crimes (Simikin 1997)”. “There were Jim Crow laws that African Americans from

African Americans and the Civil War

802 words - 4 pages actions such as Civil Rights Act in 1866 granted blacks the same rights of an American citizen opposed to the Black Codes. Figures such as previously beaten Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens defended slaves and fought for their rights. The election of President Grant was also deeply connected to the African Americans. Once African Americans were officially citizens and counted as voters instead of three-fifths a person, they held powers in

African Americans In The Early 1900's

734 words - 3 pages building though a different door than people of other races, no matter which door you wish to enter though, and you can be arrested and convicted of a crime if you don't; it is apparent that the Jim Crow laws, could only have been put into effect to embarrass African Americans. These laws are not in anyway, a part of democracy that Americans today know as, counting each person as an equal with rights. The Jim Crow laws were a total infringement

African Americans in the Great Depression

1512 words - 6 pages more. (Trotter, pg. 11) Despite all this, most African Americans remained loyal to the Democrats, especially as the “black cabinet” was created by Roosevelt to maintain the hold he had over African Americans. Members of this cabinet included William H. Hastie, the first African American federal judge, and Eugene K. Jones, executive secretary of the National Urban League. (Africa to America: From the Middle Passage Through the 1930s, pg. 35) As

African Americans in The Civil War

727 words - 3 pages African Americans were very questionable at first in the Civil War. The Union Navy had been already been accepting African American volunteers. Frederick Douglass thought that the military would help the African Americans have equal rights if they fought with them. Many children helped in the Civil War also, no matter how old they were. Because the African Americans were unfavorable, black units were not used in combat as they might have been

African Americans soldiers in the Revolutionary War

985 words - 4 pages they knew it wouldn’t be possible because the people that aren’t in war wouldn’t want the blacks to be free. The soldiers knew that the people not working with the blacks would be blind to the inconsistencies in American ideologies and slavery. African Americans were only about 8% of the soldiers that were part of the war. Regardless of the low number of African Americans, they played an important role in the war. As the war was going on, some

African Americans in the Civil War

926 words - 4 pages detriment of war. However, it was during that time that southern whites attempted to regress back to enslavement by perpetuating their preeminence over blacks and instituting restraints on the rights of the freshly freedmen. Such measures as the Black Codes and the KKK were implemented within the South to regulate the actions of African Americans as though they were in slavery but without the security of safety that comes with being considered

Policies for African Americans in the Army

706 words - 3 pages their country once more, would reap the benefits and achieve the racial equality they had " fought for, for hundreds of years. Although they searched for this integration in the military, they found little advances during the war. Black leaders lobbied for an increase of African Americans in the military. Along side the new integration policies were hidden segregated clauses, blacks could not win for loosing. An Army war college did a study

Similar Essays

The Black Panthers Fought For African Americans

627 words - 3 pages Context Research Task The Black Panthers The Black Panthers, originally Black Panther Party for Self Defence, were a Californian; African American revolutionary party formed in Oakland, 1966, founded by Huey Percy Newton and Bobby Seale. Newton and Seale met at the San Francisco School of Law and they created the Black Panther group because of the acts of police brutality and racism towards the Black communities. They believed that Martin Luther

How Has The Media's Monolithic Portrayal Of African Americans Affected The Black Race?

2258 words - 10 pages expose an alleged threat to the American way of life. The media has had a way with portraying certain people and ideas as frightening in order to create a division between the “dangerous” concept and the average person. For African Americans, the targeted use of fear tactics began well before the Civil War and continues today. Prior to, during, and immediately after the Civil War, newspapers warned whites of the threat of black existence. Articles

The Sierra Club As An Interest Group

1861 words - 7 pages legislatures and other agencies to inform and pass on information. Lobbying tactics are key to the success of the Club as an interest group. It attempts to influence a legislator's vote through personal contact, better known as direct lobbying (Janda 184). Members visit state representatives and senators. Similarly, the Club often testifies at committee hearings to put its views on record. Another aspect of direct lobbying, the Sierra Club

African American Youth And Their Lack Of Interest In Black History Month

1046 words - 5 pages Cultural identity is a person’s background and how it refers to that person or groups culture, what you eat, think, and the actions that you take are all parts of the cultural aspect of culture identity. If you was to ask someone what the culture identity of the African Americans were no matter the race of the person you asked they nine times out of ten would mention the importance of black history month, but while the races around us are able