Only a hundred years ago, if you walked up to an African American individual and asked for their party affiliation, you would primarily find that they related to the
In the early days of the Republican party, it maintained a relatively large number of black supporters, and Congressmen/Senators were primarily Republicans. Infact in 1888 Frederick Douglass
became the first African American to receive a vote for president during the Republican National Convention meeting. Abraham Lincoln is also a prominent part of the Republican party heritage and pushed for the abolition of slavery, and later the nation went to civil war underneath him, putting an end to slavery altogether. The Republican party was the party of emancipation, the party of Lincoln, and most importantly, the party that wanted African Americans to be involved in politics. From voting to actually holding seats, the Republican party was the beacon for African American’s and their political ambitions. However, today, a majority of African Americans relate to the Democratic party, it is hard to comprehend due to the history and rich culture the Republican ideology has with African Americans. This shift in ideology for the voters came about a century ago, but the events in 1964 have a lot to do with what is happening today.
A lot of scholars have argued that in the past four to five decades, a majority of African Americans believe that the Democratic party to be supporters of the people and human rights before that of corporations and of the rich, which is how the Republican party is viewed. This brings to question the ideals and values the parties really have, and which party is truly beneficial to African Americans. Recent events in the black communities have also pushed the people towards believing that the Democratic party has the best ideology, however this is false. Issues such as equal rights, beliefs, etc. are just as important to the Republican party as they are to the Democrats. Political scientists who study voter patterns at the University of Michigan, say that the first major shift in black party affiliation away from the Republican Party happened during the Depression. Franklin Roosevelt’s second administration — led by the New Deal — made the Democrats a beacon for black Americans deeply affected by the crushing poverty that was plaguing the country. The affect the economy had on the home was huge especially since African Americans were limited to certain jobs and had very little opportunities to make income. However, most blacks still stuck to the Republican party.
Around the 60’s the number was hovering around the two third percentile for African American party affiliation in favor of Democrats, compared to the now almost ninety percent, it is quite inconceivable. Today, there is a slight shift back and a rise in the number of African Americans switching to the Republican party. It is going to be a long process, but the process has started with it’s roots in the recent election and recent events. The Republican party is not what it is made out to be or how it is portrayed by the media, we need to open our eyes and understanding the true ideals the party is based upon.