African Americans and Political Participation: A Reference Handbook

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With contributions by several of the field's experts, this concise, provocative volume explores the evolution and current status of African American political action. Focusing on distinct types of activity protest politics, grassroots movements, electoral politics, political office holding, it charts the unique development of African Americans as they progressed from enslavement by whites to empowerment as citizens to an ever-growing influence on elections.

As the book vividly demonstrates, African Americans' efforts to act on their own political behalf didn't begin in the 1960s. Even while enslaved, black people courageously launched petitions, instigated strikes on plantations, and staged full-blown revolts, creating a legacy of activism that expanded through the abolition movement, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow era, the post-World War II civil rights movement, and into the present.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

". . . a solid, evenhanded presentation and a highly recommended addition to any Political Science or African American Studies reference collection."


Library Bookwatch

"Morrison and five contributors offer an important resource, a volume in the Political Participation in America series. Their rich overview presents well-documented discussions of several aspects of African American political participation … Recommended. All collections."



"African Americans and Political Participation is highly recommended as a basic introduction to the field, and as a complement to Barker's African Americans and the American Political System."


American Reference Books Annual

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Series Foreword
1 Overview 1
2 Protest Politics 63
3 Civil Rights Organizations and Movements 117
4 Participation in Electoral Politics 183
5 African Americans in Office 241
6 Conclusion: A Limited Democracy for Blacks 309
Key People, Laws, and Terms 315
Resources 331
Chronology 347
Annotated Bibliography 357
About the Contributors 383
Index 385
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