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Black conservatism in the United States


Black conservatism in the United States

Black conservatism in the United States is a political and social movement rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the American conservative movement. Since the Civil Rights Movement in the later 20th Century, the black community has generally fallen to the Left-wing politics of the right-wing conservative movement, and has predominantly favored itself on the side of liberalism and civil rights progressives. Black conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, strong patriotism, capitalism, free markets, and strong social conservatism within the context of the black church.


  • Overview 1
  • Timeline of events 2
  • Politicians 3
    • Arizona 3.1
    • California 3.2
    • Colorado 3.3
    • Connecticut 3.4
    • Delaware 3.5
    • Florida 3.6
    • Georgia 3.7
    • Illinois 3.8
    • Indiana 3.9
    • Michigan 3.10
    • Mississippi 3.11
    • Missouri 3.12
    • Nevada 3.13
    • New Jersey 3.14
    • New Mexico 3.15
    • New York 3.16
    • North Carolina 3.17
    • Ohio 3.18
    • Oklahoma 3.19
    • Oregon 3.20
    • Pennsylvania 3.21
    • South Carolina 3.22
    • Texas 3.23
    • Utah 3.24
    • Virginia 3.25
    • Virgin Islands 3.26
    • West Virginia 3.27
    • Wyoming 3.28
  • Other persons 4
    • United States judges 4.1
    • Ambassadors 4.2
    • TV personalities, authors and journalists 4.3
    • Military 4.4
    • Columnists 4.5
    • Athletes and entertainers 4.6
    • Education and Business 4.7
    • Civil Rights and Activists 4.8
  • Organizations 5
  • Blogs 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


Booker T. Washington

One of the main characteristics of black conservatism is its emphasis on personal choice and responsibilities above socioeconomic status and institutional racism. In the tradition of African American politics and intellectual life, black conservatives tend to side with Booker T. Washington as contrasted with W. E. B. Du Bois. For many black conservatives, the key mission is to bring repair and success to the Black community by applying the following fundamental principles:

  • The pursuit of educational and professional excellence as a means of advancement within the society;
  • Policies that promote safety and security in the community beyond the typical casting of a criminal as a "victim" of societal racism;
  • Local economic development through free enterprise rather than looking to the federal government for assistance;
  • Empowerment of the individual via self-improvement (virtue), conscience, and supernatural grace.[1]

Black conservatives may find common ground with Black Nationalists through their common belief in black empowerment and the theory that black people have been duped by the Welfare state.

On the other hand, some of the policies advocated by Black conservatives are in conflict with some of the key points in the common social, economic, and political positions that a high percentage of African-Americans favor. For example, black conservatives typically oppose affirmative action, which is supported by the vast majority of African American communities. They tend to argue that efforts to obtain reparations for slavery are either misguided or counter-productive. Moreover, black conservatives - especially black Republicans - are often accused of being Uncle Toms. Ebony in their May 2001 "100+ Most Influential Black Americans" issue, did not include a number of influential African Americans such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Armstrong Williams, Walter Williams and, most notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Economist, a British libertarian-leaning magazine, described the exclusion of Thomas from the list as spiteful.[2] Black conservatives favor integration of African Americans into mainstream America and, consequently, disagree with Black nationalism. Black conservatives are more inclined to support economic policies promoting globalization, free trade and tax cuts.

The term "Black Republican" was coined by Democrats in 1854 to describe the newly formed Republican Party. Though the majority of Republicans at the time were white, the Republican Party was founded by abolitionists and generally supported racial equality. Southern Democrats used the term as one of derision, believing that a Lincoln victory in 1860 would lead to widespread slave revolts. The use of the term continued after the Civil War to reflect most Southerners' opinions of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction.[3] Over the next century, the term "Black Republican" would come to refer specifically to blacks affiliated with or voting for the Republican Party and is now a subset of the broader movement of black conservatism.

According to a 2004 study, 13.7% of blacks identified as "Conservative" or "Extremely Conservative"[4] with another 14.4% identifying as slightly conservative. However the same study indicated less than ten percent identified as Republican or Republican leaning in any fashion. Likewise, a recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 19% of blacks identify as Religious Right.[5] In 2004 the Pew Research Center indicated only 7% of blacks identify as Republican.[6] Hence a certain percentage of noted Black conservatives are likely connected to the Democrats for Life of America movement or economic liberalism.

From New Deal coalition which dominated American politics for the next 30 years, and continued with the election of John F. Kennedy. This shift was also influenced by Herbert Hoover's practice of firing loyal African-Americans from positions within the Republican Party, in order to increase his appeal to racist Southern white voters.[8] This can be considered an early example of a set of Republican Party methods that were later termed the Southern Strategy.

Another case study of differences between Black conservatives and Black Republicans is an emphasis on personal empowerment versus theological perspectives. Black Republicans like Colin Powell hold to the social ideas articulated by the early Radical Republicans like Frederick Douglass while at the same time supporting the self-empowerment message of Booker T. Washington. Many social conservatives who are black and Republican hold to a biblically based empowerment although they also appreciate Booker's emphasis on personal accomplishment. Conservatives like the Texas minister T. D. Jakes are evangelical African Americans who support policies more in common but not totally in line with many white Evangelicals.

The African-American church has traditionally been an important element of social and political movements in the Black community. These generally have been identified with persons of the Left or liberalism, like Jesse Jackson, but this is not always true. On issues concerning homosexuality, Black Protestants are more socially conservative than other groups, excepting White Evangelicals.[9] Their view on the issue of homosexual teachers changed less than any other segment based on religion or race.

Timeline of events

Tim Scott
Condoleezza Rice
Colin Powell
Alphonso Jackson
Rod Paige
Clarence Thomas
Jennifer Carroll
Allen West
Herman Cain

This is a timeline of significant events in African American history which have shaped the conservative movement in the United States.

1832 & 1845
  • 1929 – Oscar Stanton De Priest elected as the first African-American Congressperson of the 20th Century. (R-IL)
  • 1968 – Arthur A. Fletcher is appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor; he will be a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee in '76 and appointed Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights in '90.
  • 1975 – President Gerald Ford appoints the following:
    • William T. Coleman as Secretary of Transportation
    • James B. Parsons is named Chief Judge of the US District Court in Chicago, the first African-American to hold such a position.
  • 1979 – Melvin H. Evans is elected to U.S. Congress.


Ken Blackwell








  • Georgia State Representative (2005-2011)
  • Dr. Deborah Honeycutt - U.S. House Candidate (2006 & 2008)
  • Dr. Georgia House of Representatives (2014)
  • Georgia State Representative (2005–present)







New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina





South Carolina




Virgin Islands

West Virginia

  • Jill Upson - West Virginia State Delegate (2014-present)


Other persons

United States judges


TV personalities, authors and journalists



Athletes and entertainers

Education and Business

Civil Rights and Activists



  • Chidike Okeem
  • Conservative Black Chick
  • BlackConservative360
  • The Black Libertarian

See also


  1. ^ For an overview of these themes, see Stan Faryna, Brad Stetson, and Joseph G. Conti, Eds., Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997)
  2. ^ "Lexington: The school of very hard knocks". The Economist. 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  3. ^ "The Republicans And The Civil War". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  4. ^ "Quick Tables". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  5. ^ Pew Forum: Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics
  6. ^ Part 1: Party Affiliation: The 2004 Political Landscape
  7. ^ "American President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: The American Franchine". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  8. ^ Behind the Mule: Race and Class in African-American Politics. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^ Gormley, Michael (November 5, 2014). Democrat Diaz will give Senate GOP’s slim majority another vote. Newsday. Retrieved November 6, 2014.
  16. ^ Fletcher, Michael A. (2006-08-17). "Lynn Swann, Happy to Be on the President's Team". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Larry Elder - Conservative Columnist and Political Commentator2003 Column Archive". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  20. ^ "WVON 1690 AM - The Talk of Chicago | Weekday Line-up". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  21. ^ White, Chelsea (July 18, 2013). 'I was a 29-year-old virgin': Sister Sister's Tamera Mowry reveals she has only ever slept with her husband Adam Housley. Mail Online. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  22. ^ "April 11, 2005". The Nation. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  23. ^ [2]
  24. ^
  25. ^
  26. ^ Rothfeld, Michael (2010-02-01). "Mary J. Kight continues to be a trailblazer". Los Angeles Times. 
  27. ^ Pareles, Jon (December 25, 2006). "James Brown, the ‘Godfather of Soul’, Dies at 73". New York Times. Retrieved December 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ Hulse, Carl, and Loughlin, Sean (December 20, 1999), "Graham, Clinton agree to agree", Lakeland Ledger: A14 
  29. ^ "For The Record: Quick News On 50 Cent, Kanye West, Irv Gotti, Beyonce, Zack De La Rocha, Alice In Chains & More - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV. 2005-11-23. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  30. ^ Waldo, Patrick (2008-02-05). "50 Cent Endorses Hillary Clinton, Fears A Black President Will Be Shot". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  31. ^ "NEWSMEAT ▷ Karl Malone's Federal Campaign Contribution Report". Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  32. ^ "Minnesota Public Radio". Minnesota Public Radio. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 
  33. ^ Benjamin, Elizabeth (2010-09-16). NFLer: Carl's no racist. Capitol Tonight. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
  34. ^ Washington, The (2008-10-17). "Q&A With Cowboy Troy". Washington Times. Retrieved 2011-05-17. 

Further reading

  • Ondaatje, Michael, Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America (2010)

External links

  • Murray, Mark. "GOP diversity aims at a crucial Democratic bloc." NBC News. April 25, 2006.
  • "The New Black Republicans." WBUR, Boston's NPR. June 2, 2004.
  • Alliance of Black Republicans
  • African American Republican Leadership Council
  • Black Conservative Think Tank
  • Black America's PAC
  • Congress of Racial Equality
  • American Civil Rights Institute
  • New Coalition for Economic and Social Change
  • National Black Republican Association
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