This dynamic and comprehensive text from nationally renowned scholars continues to demonstrate the profound influence African Americans have had—and continue to have—on American politics. Using two interrelated themes—the idea of universal freedom and the concept of minority–majority coalitions—the text demonstrates how the presence of Africans in the United States affected the founding of the Republic and its political institutions and processes. The authors show that through the quest for their own freedom in the United States, African Americans have universalized and expanded the freedoms of all Americans.

New to the Ninth Edition

• Updated sections on intersectionality, dealing with issues of race and gender.

• Updated section on African American music, to include the role of Hip Hop.

• Updated sections on mass media coverage of African Americans and the African American celebrity impact on politics, adding new mention of the CROWN Act and the politics of Black hair.

• Updated section on the "Black Lives Matter" movement, adding a new section on the "Me Too" movement.

• Updated sections on African Americans in Congress, with a new mention of the Squad.

• Updated voting behavior through the 2020 elections, connecting the Obama years with the new administration.

• A comparison of the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

• A discussion of the way in which race contributes to the polarization of American politics in the 2020 presidential campaign.

• An analysis of the racial attitudes of President Trump, and the institutionally racist policies of his administrations.

• Updated chapter on state and local politics, including a new section on state executive offices and Black mayors.

• Updated sections on material well-being indicators, adding a new section on the coronavirus pandemic and the Black community.

• The first overall assessment of the Obama administration in relation to domestic and foreign policy and racial politics.

part Part I|53 pages


chapter Chapter 1|25 pages

Universal Freedom Declared, Universal Freedom Denied

Racism, Slavery, and the Ideology of White Supremacy in the Founding of the Republic

chapter Chapter 2|26 pages

Federalism and the Limits of Universal Freedom

part Part II|61 pages

Political Behaviorism

chapter Chapter 3|19 pages

Political Culture and Socialization

chapter Chapter 4|20 pages

Public Opinion

chapter Chapter 5|20 pages

African Americans and the Media

part Part III|121 pages

Coalitions, Movements, Interest Groups, Parties, and Elections

chapter Chapter 7|19 pages

Interest Groups

chapter Chapter 8|26 pages

Political Parties

chapter Chapter 9|24 pages

Voting Behavior and Elections

part Part V|49 pages

Public Policy