Why are Blacks Democrats?

Why are Blacks Democrats?

We are thrilled to announce the launch of Princeton University Press’s Ideas Podcast, cosponsored by the New Books Network and Literary Hub. In keeping with the Press’s commitment to curating inclusive, global conversations, the podcast will feature interviews with an international roster of PUP authors, across a diversity of subject areas. The podcast debuts with Ismail K. White and Chryl N. Laird, authors of Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior.

Black Americans are by far the most unified racial group in American electoral politics, with 80 to 90 percent identifying as Democrats—a surprising figure given that nearly a third now also identify as ideologically conservative, up from less than 10 percent in the 1970s. Why has ideological change failed to push more black Americans into the Republican Party? Steadfast Democrats answers this question with a pathbreaking new theory that foregrounds the specificity of the black American experience and illuminates social pressure as the key element of black Americans’ unwavering support for the Democratic Party.

Read the full transcript.


About the Authors

Ismail K. White is associate professor of political science at Duke University. White is the coeditor of African-American Political Psychology: Identity, Opinion, and Action in the Post-Civil Rights EraChryl N. Laird is assistant professor of government and legal studies at Bowdoin College. Twitter @chryllaird