African American Women and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics

by Cindy Hooper


A question previously posed in the abstract became real during the 2008 presidential election. Asked to make a choice, would an African American woman support a male African American candidate or a non-African American female candidate? If identity politics played a role in her decision, which identity would hold sway—female or African American?

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Cover image for Conflict

July 2012


Pages 169
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies

This in-depth examination looks at African American women's navigation of the interlocking obstacles of race and gender specifically within the political arena.

Conflict: African American Women and the New Dilemma of Race and Gender Politics offers a provocative examination of an increasingly important voting bloc, one that impacted the 2008 election and whose loyalties will have far-reaching implications for future contests. This fascinating study is three-pronged. It explores the conflicts African American women experience in prioritizing race over gender, offers data-backed analysis of the substantial power of this bloc to influence elections, and looks at the ways in which the very existence of that influence impacts the political and social empowerment of this dual-identity population.

As background to the present-day story, the book surveys the history of African American females in elective office in the United States, as well as their roles in the Women's Suffrage and Civil Rights movements. The first work to undertake a study of African American women in this expansive political context, this important volume will help readers assess where African American women have been, where they are now, and what their roles might be in the future.


  • Quotes from African American women about their dual-identity conflicts
  • A bibliography


  • Examines the impact of dual-identity conflict on current voting trends among African American women
  • Gathers data to demonstrate the power and influence of African American women as the majority of the African American electorate
  • Analyzes the crucial role played by African American women in Democratic primaries in the 2008 presidential election
  • Surveys contemporary issues critical to today's African American woman and looks at how these issues impact their voting tendencies
Author Info

Cindy Hooper is a veteran of numerous local, state, and national political campaigns and founder of the National Organization for African-American Women, headquartered in Washington, DC. She has a masters degree in government from The Johns Hopkins University.

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