Prairie View A&M University
Abstract This paper will be based on the chapter eight Interest Groups from the assigned textbook American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom Fifth Edition by Hanes Walton Jr. and Robert C. Smith. Along with many scholarly articles, journals, books, and databases the chapter based on African American interest groups alongside with other topics will be analyzed with many of the elements of thought. An emphasis on what an African American interest groups, the black agenda, the African American woman’s quest, and the national movements will also be placed within the information that will be given. The purpose is to emphasize the greatness of African American interest groups and the other topics listed above of the support of the interest groups that still hold as well as lack in the twenty-first century. Quantitative data will also be used throughout the following paper to identify the inflation and deflation of the multiple topics.
Black Interest Groups and Troubled Agendas An interest group as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a group of persons having a common identifying interest that often provides a basis for action. (Merriam Webster Dictionary, 2015) Being that the definition puts an emphasis on the fact that interest groups have a common interest that allows an open door for many different kinds of interest groups to be created. Some interest groups may be formed for something such as civil rights, public policy and even religious purposes. Alongside the fact that there are many different kinds of interest groups that are created that means there are also many different agendas for each interest group within the black community. Below is Table 8.1 taken from Walton Jr. and Smiths’ American Politics and the African American Quest for Universal Freedom that shows the structure of black interest groups which illustrates “the range of interest and policy concerns of the organized black community” Table 8.1(p.115-6).(Walton Jr. & Smith, 2010).
Some of the interest groups that were a big part of change and the attempt to change are the: National Association of the Advancement for Colored People (NAACP, 1909), Urban League (1910), Southern Christian Leadership Conference(SCLC, 1957), NAACP Legal Defense Fund(1939),National Association of Black Social Workers(NABSW, 1937), Trans Africa(1977) just to name a few of different interests. As we see from the table above the interests of groups vary. One of the things that define the interest is the issue of the interest which brings people together from different networks, institutions and places of the world. Some of the data in which was found in the scholarly article Representing Black Interests and Promoting Black Culture: The Importance of African American Descriptive Representation in the U.S house in which was put together by Andy Baker and Corey Cook made a statement of the conceptualization of the representation of black interests politically which was originally formed by W.E.B Du Bois’ Institute for African American Research. The First Chart Below shows the degree to which members of the two-party vote legislatures represent black interests in a District that is 0% black. The second chart shows the same kind of members but in a 30% Black District. The black dotted line represents a non-black member, while the solid black line represents a member whom is black. Figure 2
Figure four above shows the same exact concept as figure one and two but in a district that is 50% black. The charts above all show the lack of representation in black interests. Having the lack that is shown, creates many issues, and obstructs progress to advance and obtain new members to help create triumph.
The black agenda cannot be explained without first and foremost defining the black issue or what the…