Decline of Black Political Power in the South

Aug 28, 2014

The New Racism: a recent cover story in The New Republic that traces the consequences of the decline of black political power in the South.
Credit The New Republic


The percentage of black state legislators in the South that serve in the majority party has declined rapidly in the past 10 years—from 99 percent in 1994 to 4.8 percent today.

A recent essay in The New Republic argues that this trend is connected to the increased polarization of political parties, the disappearance of white democrats, and ongoing federal support for legislation that limits the efficacy of black political power. But what are the consequences of this decline for African-American communities, and is it possible to turn this trend around?

Host Frank Stasio talks to the essay’s author Jason Zengerle, senior editor for The New Republic, and Kareem Crayton, UNC-Chapel Hill law professor specializing in the relationship between race and politics.