In political opinion surveys from the 1950s through the 1970s, African Americans were consistently among the most liberal groups in the United States and were much further to the left than White Americans on most issues. Starting in the 1980s, Black public opinion began to move to the center, and this trend has deepened since. Why is this the case?
Katherine Tate contends that Black political incorporation and increased affluence since the civil rights movement have made Black politics and public opinion more moderate over time. Black leaders now have greater opportunity to participate in mainstream politics, and Blacks look to elected officials rather than activists for political leadership. Black socioeconomic concerns have moved to the center as poverty has declined and their economic opportunities have improved.
Based on solid analysis of public opinion data from the 1970s to the present, Tate examines how Black opinions on various issues have changed.
Katherine Tate is a professor of political science and African American studies at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Black Faces in the Mirror and From Protest to Politics.
Preface 1. What's Going On? The State of Public Opinion in Black America 2. Welfare Reform and Shifts in Black Opinion on Welfare Policies 3. Shifts in Black Support for Government Aid to Blacks and Minorities 4. Black Opinion on Crime Control Policies 5. Education Policies, School Vouchers, and Busing in Black America 6. Social Issues and Rights for Women and for Gays and Lesbians in Black America 7. Black Opinion on Immigration and the Environment 8. Blacks on U.S. Foreign Policy 9. Black Political Incorporation and Public Opinion Appendix: List of Public Opinion Data Sets References Index
Tate's data are extensive, interesting, and informative, and provide for a compelling story of how blacks think about politics, yesterday and today ... Tate's work should become seminal reading for those interested in public opinion, and race and politics. Political Science Quarterly An intriguing work drawing together more than thirty years of public opinion data from a variety of sources ... provides an engaging discussion of trends in Black public opinion over the past few decades and a promising conceptual framework for future research in this area. National Political Science Review