Orginal Publication Date
Ethnic Studies Review
The nature of political representation of Black constituents' interests from their elected Black representatives is changing in the twentyfirst century. Increasingly, African Americans are being elected to political offices where the majority of their constituents are not African American. Previous research on this question tended to characterize Black politicians' efforts to represent their Black constituents' interests in two frames: deracialized or racialized (McCormick and Jones 1993; Cruse 1990). However, the advent of the twenty-first century has exhausted the utility ofthat polarization. Black politicians no longer find explicit racial appeals appropriate for their electoral goals, given the changing demographic environment, and greater acceptance of African American politicians in highprofile positions of power. Black politicians also increasingly find that a lack of attention to racial disparities facing constituents within their political boundaries does not effectively address why certain groups like Blacks are disproportionately and negatively affected than others, across a range of issues. Rather than continue to make efforts to represent Black interests within those two frames, Black politicians have begun to universalize the interests of Blacks.
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