Not Your Mule?: Disrupting the Political Powerlessness of Black Women Voters
55 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2021
Date Written: June 2021
On the one hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, this Article reflects on the legacy of Black women voters. The Article hypothesizes that even though suffrage was hard fought, it has not been a vehicle for Black women to meaningfully advance their political concerns. Instead, an inverse relationship exists between Black women's political participation and their relative level of socioeconomic and political well-being. Taking recent national elections as a case study, the Article identifies two sources of Black women's political powerlessness: “caretaker voting” and the "trapped constituency problem.” The Article concludes that Black women's strong voter turnout coupled with their reliable support of the Democratic Party has had the perverse outcome of cementing their irrelevance in the electoral system. To disrupt this trend, the Article proposes a new path forward.
Keywords: race, women, voting, nineteenth amendment, crt, critical race theory, racism, trapped constituencies, caretaker voting
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