Over the past decade greater focus has been placed on African American voters and the intrinsic power of the African-American voter bloc due to the election of the first black President, Barack Obama. Coupled with growing stratification amongst a number of identifiers in the African-American community Barack Obama's presidency along with the emergence of more African-American nominees within the Republican party primaries has provided an important platform to further examine key factors affecting the African-American political community. I focus on topics such as descriptive representation within both the Democratic and Republican parties, questions surrounding Black Nationalism as a tool for empowerment, and expanding perspectives on foundational theories such as Michael C. Dawson's "Linked Fate" theory and Paul Frymer’s “Captured Class” perspective. Using 2016 Pew Research Racial Attitudes in America Final Questionnaire I construct multiple bivariate models and multivariate models to test the significance of certain identifiers and their relation to respondent’s party affiliation. I expect to find that the Black voter bloc has maintained a sense of communal responsibility regardless of their own individual self-interests due to their common belief that the fate of the Black community directly impacts their own life. My expectations are driven by my belief that most of the Black community assumes that the current civil rights, protections, and aid given to the wider community are at jeopardy to be lost if the community does not vote as one.


Corral, Alvaro


Political Science


African Americans, Linked Fate, Political Empowerment, Political Consciousness

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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