Published October 10, 2019 by Tom Porter

Black America: A Democratic Stronghold?

When rapper Kanye West declared his support of President Donald Trump last year, there was a backlash from many in the African American community, who characterized West’s backing of the Republican leader as a betrayal of his people.

chryl laird book

The episode also helped illustrate the fact that most African Americans appear to be, politically speaking, Democrats. Why this is so was recently the subject of NPR’s weekly podcast Code Switch, which looks at racial and cultural issues.

Among the guests was Bowdoin Assistant Professor of Government Chryl Laird. The subject of black political behavior is tackled in Laird’s forthcoming book, Steadfast Democrats: How Social Forces Shape Black Political Behavior (Princeton University Press, 2020), which she coauthored with Duke University’s Ismail White.

Laird talks about the roots of black political unity and why 80 to 90 percent of black Americans identify as Democrats while nearly a third of them now also identify as ideologically conservative.

Listen to the podcast.