Grassroots Activists Struggle to Motivate African Americans to Vote
Some activists say President Obama is simply not doing enough to motivate Blacks to head to the polls.
After widespread excitement and hope within the community at the prospect of an African American president in 2008, many are frustrated and disillusioned by a perceived lack of progress. The unemployment rate in the Black community is sky high.
“‘A lot of our young people are actually not real excited about this election. They feel that there were some things that should have changed or should have happened over the last four years that didn’t, so they really don’t feel the need to get out and vote,’ says Jessica Brown of Tampa, Fla., national field coordinator for Black Youth Vote, a program for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP).
She says she tries to inspire her youthful peers by telling them that it’s not just about the presidential election but even trickles down to state and local leaders. ‘We really try to teach them about what voting is and bring it home literally to their communities.’
But, their frustration links to real life says, William C. Kellibrew, IV, who manages Black Youth Vote as deputy director of NCBCP. ‘Young people are out of work right now. You can go to any city and find 50 percent unemployment rate or over 40 percent unemployment rate for young people, so it’s a huge issue and they’re looking for jobs at this point. So, who’s going to be creating jobs at this point?’”
Why do you think voting enthusiasm has waned within the Black Community?
Will you be voting in November?
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