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Chicago Study Proves That All Young Black Voters Aren’t the Same

Chicago Study Proves That All Young Black Voters Aren’t the Same

Asraa Mustufa, Colorlines | June 6, 2011

University of Chicago professor Cathy J. Cohen led a national study about the attitudes and culture of young African-Americans and how these influence their personal and political decision making. In an interview with the Windy City Times, Cohen offers insight onto political trends among young blacks, and how to motivate young voters of color in the upcoming presidential election cycle.

Cohen’s surveys found many young black voters to be conservative on social issues, contrary to the popular narrative that the new generation of voters is widely progressive, and that current wedge issues like same-sex marriage and reproductive rights will become irrelevant in the near future.

“I’m not suggesting young Blacks are much more homophobic than everyone else – but some are. The idea is not to demonize them, but think about the necessary, culturally relevant interventions that will allow them to develop,” Cohen said.

During midterm election season, Jamilah King wrote about the changing dynamics among young voters of color since they clinched President Obama’s election in 2008. While the country’s first serious black presidential candidate, who espoused a progressive platform, brought out record numbers of new black and Latino voters, that energy has waned. In addition to low turnout amongst this base during midterms, King wrote back in October that there is “the belief that Democrats in general, and President Obama in particular, have lost sight of what inspired the nation’s young electorate to rally behind them in the first place: The promise of tangible change for their lives and their communities.”  (Read more)


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