What Does the Post-Obama Black Electorate Look Like?

Theodore Johnson, writing in The Atlantic, argues that ‘The nation is witnessing the emergence of a post-Obama black electorate. It is a constituency that has grown impatient with elected officials’ generational promises that their programs will eventually pull blacks from the doldrums of society into a fairer America where opportunity is accessible and hard work is rewarded equally. To combat institutional lethargy, this wave of young people is employing a variety of tactics—from protest to pop culture—to influence the political agenda. They are the offspring of six decades of activism, growing voting power, and increased intra-racial class diversity.”

“If recent trends are sufficient indication, the post-Obama black electorate will probably be characterized by three things: stratified voter participation, increased reliance on alternative methods of political pressure, and initial signs of growing partisan and political diversity.”

“Older blacks are more likely to rely on the vote to bring about policy change, whereas young voters place less confidence in electoral strategies. In the short-term, this may translate to an overall drop in black voter participation rates. But decreased voter turnout should not be mistaken for disinterest.”

“The post-Obama bloc employs a different strategy to bring about change—one rooted in creativity and energy. It is because of them that Black Lives Matter exists.”


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  • pisher

    Even Malcolm X said black people needed to vote–he didn’t think it was all they should be doing, but he thought they’d be fools not to. “By any means necessary” doesn’t mean “by whatever means you consider cool at the moment.”

    Why are TPTB working so hard to keep black people from the ballot, and not the bullet? Because the former is what they really fear.

  • Delphine

    I’m sure Hillary’s campaign is super-excited about substituting creativity for boring ol’ voting.

  • Delphine

    I’m sure Hillary’s campaign is super-excited about substituting creativity for boring ol’ voting.

  • embo66

    I LOVE the Black Lives Matter movement, love that it has nudged even Beyonce into an embrace (however glitzy) of honest black power, forced Dem politicians into promises about improving our justice system, and spurred even the DOJ into investigations and censure of cities like Ferguson. BLM has brought the entire debate about race in this country back into the open and reinvigorated many of their own people in the process — and I even suspect they are not going to take America’s longstanding refusal to deal honestly with race lying down.

    BUT: I could not bear it if BLM movement members are concluding that voting itself isn’t any kind of important avenue for change. (How can they even think that, when Barack Obama just got elected — and then proved himself to be one of our finest presidents ever?) I understand that much of the system is rigged against us, but that’s no reason to abandon the one sure avenue you have for changing that system.

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