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Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP

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Reflecting on his fifty-year effort to steer the Grand Old Party toward black voters, Memphis power broker George W. Lee declared, "Somebody had to stay in the Republican Party and fight." As Joshua Farrington recounts in his comprehensive history, Lee was one of many black Republican leaders who remained loyal after the New Deal inspired black voters to switch their alleg Reflecting on his fifty-year effort to steer the Grand Old Party toward black voters, Memphis power broker George W. Lee declared, "Somebody had to stay in the Republican Party and fight." As Joshua Farrington recounts in his comprehensive history, Lee was one of many black Republican leaders who remained loyal after the New Deal inspired black voters to switch their allegiance from the "party of Lincoln" to the Democrats. Ideologically and demographically diverse, the ranks of twentieth-century black Republicans included Southern patronage dispensers like Lee and Robert Church, Northern critics of corrupt Democratic urban machines like Jackie Robinson and Archibald Carey, civil rights agitators like Grant Reynolds and T. R. M. Howard, elected politicians like U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke and Kentucky state legislator Charles W. Anderson, black nationalists like Floyd McKissick and Nathan Wright, and scores of grassroots organizers from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Black Republicans believed that a two-party system in which both parties were forced to compete for the African American vote was the best way to obtain stronger civil rights legislation. Though they were often pushed to the sidelines by their party's white leadership, their continuous and vocal inner-party dissent helped moderate the GOP's message and platform through the 1970s. And though often excluded from traditional narratives of U.S. politics, black Republicans left an indelible mark on the history of their party, the civil rights movement, and twentieth-century political development. "Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP" marshals an impressive amount of archival material at the national, state, and municipal levels in the South, Midwest, and West, as well as in the better-known Northeast, to open up new avenues in African American political history.


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Reflecting on his fifty-year effort to steer the Grand Old Party toward black voters, Memphis power broker George W. Lee declared, "Somebody had to stay in the Republican Party and fight." As Joshua Farrington recounts in his comprehensive history, Lee was one of many black Republican leaders who remained loyal after the New Deal inspired black voters to switch their alleg Reflecting on his fifty-year effort to steer the Grand Old Party toward black voters, Memphis power broker George W. Lee declared, "Somebody had to stay in the Republican Party and fight." As Joshua Farrington recounts in his comprehensive history, Lee was one of many black Republican leaders who remained loyal after the New Deal inspired black voters to switch their allegiance from the "party of Lincoln" to the Democrats. Ideologically and demographically diverse, the ranks of twentieth-century black Republicans included Southern patronage dispensers like Lee and Robert Church, Northern critics of corrupt Democratic urban machines like Jackie Robinson and Archibald Carey, civil rights agitators like Grant Reynolds and T. R. M. Howard, elected politicians like U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke and Kentucky state legislator Charles W. Anderson, black nationalists like Floyd McKissick and Nathan Wright, and scores of grassroots organizers from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Black Republicans believed that a two-party system in which both parties were forced to compete for the African American vote was the best way to obtain stronger civil rights legislation. Though they were often pushed to the sidelines by their party's white leadership, their continuous and vocal inner-party dissent helped moderate the GOP's message and platform through the 1970s. And though often excluded from traditional narratives of U.S. politics, black Republicans left an indelible mark on the history of their party, the civil rights movement, and twentieth-century political development. "Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP" marshals an impressive amount of archival material at the national, state, and municipal levels in the South, Midwest, and West, as well as in the better-known Northeast, to open up new avenues in African American political history.

30 review for Black Republicans and the Transformation of the GOP

  1. 5 out of 5

    Diane Haney

    The struggle of black Americans to gain comeplete equality with whites is well represented in this more or less documentary. It is also clear that both parties at times used their black supporters more for their own gain then the advancement of civil rights. The downfall of this important story is it is so textbook and dry as to be almost unreadable. Perhaps the same story told in several books with more depth, personality and humor where it can be used, would better get the message across and g The struggle of black Americans to gain comeplete equality with whites is well represented in this more or less documentary. It is also clear that both parties at times used their black supporters more for their own gain then the advancement of civil rights. The downfall of this important story is it is so textbook and dry as to be almost unreadable. Perhaps the same story told in several books with more depth, personality and humor where it can be used, would better get the message across and gain more readers and support for the cause.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sean

  3. 5 out of 5

    Regina

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sabrina

  5. 5 out of 5

    A.j. Medlock

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ephraim

  7. 4 out of 5

    Pranab Mukherjee

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cherisse

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dudders

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jill

  12. 4 out of 5

    Brett

  13. 4 out of 5

    Libby

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lee Herman

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nakia June

  16. 4 out of 5

    Debra Foster Greene

  17. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Koonce

  18. 5 out of 5

    Theaardvark01

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hezekiah

  20. 5 out of 5

    Fábio Gutterres Fernandes (Book Thief)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

  22. 4 out of 5

    Keisha N. Blain

  23. 4 out of 5

    James Hill Welborn III

  24. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  25. 4 out of 5

    Clifford H. Macklin

  26. 5 out of 5

    Patti

  27. 4 out of 5

    rhonda

  28. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Gordon

  29. 5 out of 5

    Regina White

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

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