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Decline of Black Political Power in the South

Cover image for a recent issue of The New Republic with a cover story about the decline of black political power in the South.
The New Republic
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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. 

Anita Rao is an award-winning journalist and the host and creator of "Embodied," a live, weekly radio show and seasonal podcast about sex, relationships & health. She's also the managing editor of WUNC's on-demand content.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.