Political Science, Department of


Date of this Version

January 2003


Published (as Chapter 4) in African Americans and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook, edited by Minion K. C. Morrison (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2003), pp. 183-240. Copyright 2003 ABC-CLIO, Inc. Used by permission. http://www.abc-clio.com/products/overview.aspx?productid=108612


This chapter traces the evolution of African American electoral participation and characterizes the political behavior that it has generated for this racialized community. First, the chapter examines this community's behavior relative to the various political parties, the standard vehicles through which electoral participation is executed. It then examines the voting behavior of African Americans. This is followed by case studies examining Black third-party efforts, political behavior during Reconstruction, and Jesse Jackson's bid for the presidency.