Black conservatism

Black conservatism

Black conservatism is an international political and social movement rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the conservative movement. It emphasizes patriotism, independence and self-help, free enterprise, and strong cultural conservatism within the context of black Church.


One of the main characteristics of black conservatism is its emphasis on personal choice and responsibilities. In the tradition of African American politics and intellectual life, black conservatives tend to side with Booker T. Washington as contrasted with W.E.B. DuBois. For many black conservatives, the key mission is to bring repair and success to the Black community by applying the following fundamental principles:

*The pursuit of educational and professional excellence as a means of advancement within the society;
*Policies that promote safety and security in the community beyond the typical casting of a criminal as a "victim" of societal racism;
*Local economic development through free enterprise rather than looking to the federal government for assistance;
*Empowerment of the individual via self-improvement (virtue), conscience, and supernatural grace. [For an overview of these themes, see Stan Faryna, Brad Stetson, and Joseph G. Conti, Eds., "Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America", (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997)] .

Black conservative may find common ground with Black Nationalists through their common belief in black empowerment and the theory that black people have been duped by the Welfare state.

On the other hand, some of the policies advocated by Black conservatives are in conflict with some of the key points in the common social, economic, and political positions that a high percentage of African-Americans favor. For example, black conservatives typically oppose affirmative action which is supported by the vast majority of African American communities. They tend to argue that efforts to obtain reparations for slavery are either misguided or counter-productive. Moreover, black conservatives - especially black Republicans - are often accused of being Uncle Toms. "Ebony" in their May 2001 "100+ Most Influential Black Americans" issue, did not include a number of influential African Americans such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Armstrong Williams, Walter Williams and, most notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Economist, a British libertarian-leaning magazine, described the exclusion of Thomas from the list as spiteful. [] Black Republican favour integration of African Americans into mainstream America and, consequently, are openly hostile to notions of Black nationalism. Black republican are more inclined to support economic policies promoting Republican agenda such as globalization, free-trade and tax cuts, which much black communities might seen it as irrelevant.

Black conservatives and Black Republicans

The term "Black Republican" was coined by Democrats in 1854 to describe the newly-formed Republican Party. Though the majority of Republicans at the time were actually white, the Republican Party was founded by abolitionists generally supported racial equality. Southern Democrats used the term as one of derision, believing that a Lincoln victory in 1860 would lead to widespread slave revolts. The use of the term continued after the Civil War to reflect most Southerners' opinions of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. [ [ The Republicans And The Civil War ] ] Over the next century, the term "Black Republican" would come to refer specifically to blacks affiliated with or voting for the Republican Party and is now a subset of the broader movement of black conservatism.

According to a 2004 study 13.7% of blacks identified as "Conservative" or "Extremely Conservative" [ [;jsessionid=48747F5A3D62CEF9C818628F101394D8?reportKey=gss04%3A0 Quick Tables ] ] with another 14.4 identifying as slightly conservative. However the same study indicated less than ten percent identified as Republican or Republican leaning in any fashion. Likewise, a recent Pew Research Center survey showed that 19% of blacks identify as Religious Right. [ [ Pew Forum: Many Americans Uneasy with Mix of Religion and Politics ] ] In 2004 the Pew Research Center indicated only 7% of blacks identify as Republican. [ [ Part 1: Party Affiliation: The 2004 Political Landscape ] ] Hence a certain percentage of noted Black conservatives (such as Harold Ford Jr.) are likely connected to the Democrats for Life of America movement or economic liberalism.

From Reconstruction up until the New Deal the black population tended to vote Republican as the Republican Party, particularly in the Southern United States, was seen as more racially liberal than the Democratic Party, primarily because of the role of the southern wing of the Democratic Party as the party of segregation and the Republican Party's roots in the abolitionist movement (See Dixiecrats for more on this). Blacks started to shift in significant numbers to the Democrats with the election of Franklin Roosevelt, [ [ American President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt: The American Franchine] ] whose New Deal particularly benefited economically disadvantaged minority communities and helped forge the New Deal coalition which dominated American politics for the next 30 years, and continued with the election of John F. Kennedy, an Irish-Catholic Democrat who pioneered racial equality legislation while in office, resulting in a flight of conservative Democrats in the South to the Republican Party.Fact|date=June 2008

Another case study of differences between Black conservatives and Black Republicans is an emphasis on personal empowerment versus theological perspectives. Black Republicans like Colin Powell hold to the social ideas articulated by the early Radical Republicans like Frederick Douglass while at the same time supporting the self-empowerment message of Booker T. Washington. Many social conservatives who are black and Republican hold to a biblically based empowerment although they also appreciate Booker's emphasis on personal accomplishment. Conservatives like the Texas minister T. D. Jakes are evangelical African Americans who support policies more in common but not totally in line with many white Evangelicals.

Black Conservatism Worldwide

Black Conservatism in the United Kingdom

While there was an early link in the eighteenth century between Black Britions, mainly former slaves, and the abolitionist conservatives who sucsessfully sought the end of the slave trade in 1807 many Black Britons have not traditionally supported conservative policies. This in some part emerged from the Conservative hostillity to immigration from the Commonwealth during the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in the infamous speech by a leading Conservative Enoch Powell, in which he predicted mass immigration would lead to "a river of blood".

Despite this there has long been a small number of conservative blacks. In recent years the Conservatives have attempted to undo the long-standing conservative prejudices, by attacking racism and trying to cultivate more of a following amongst the black community.

Increasingly more black and ethnic minority figures are being appointed and elected to positions within the Conservative Party. Notable black Conservatives in the United Kingdom include Lord Taylor of Warwick, [ [ Lord Taylor of Warwick ] ] Adam Afriyie MP, [ [ Adam Afriyie for Windsor ] ] Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones [ [ Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones - Profile - Conservative Party ] ] and James Cleverly, [ [ James Cleverly ] ] a member of the London Assembly. Boxer Frank Bruno has also been a vocal supporter of the Conservative Party.

Black Conservatism in the Carribean

Black conservatives and black churches

The African American church has traditionally been an important element to social and political movements in the community. In general these have been identified by figures of the Left or liberalism, like Jesse Jackson, but this is not consistently true. On issues concerning homosexuality Black Protestants are more socially conservative than other groups exempting White Evangelicals. [] Their view on the issue of homosexual teachers changed less than any other segment based on religion or race.

*1954 - President Dwight Eisenhower appoints J. Ernest Wilkins as Assistant Secretary of Labor.
*1968 - Arthur A. Fletcher is appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor; he will be a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee in '76 and appointed Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights in '90.
*1975 - President Gerald Ford appoints William T. Coleman Secretary of Transportation. James B. Parsons is named Chief Judge of the US District Court in Chicago, the first African-American to hold such a position.
*1980 - NAACP President Benjamin Hooks is invited to address the Republican National Convention
*1981 - President Ronald Reagan appoints Clarence Pendleton, Jr. as Chairman of the US Civil Rights Commission
*1982 - President Reagan appoints Clarence Thomas as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
*1989 - President George H.W. Bush appoints Louis Wade Sullivan as Secretary of Health and Human Services, General Colin L. Powell as Chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Condoleezza Rice as Director of the National Security Council.
*1990 - Gary Franks is elected to US Congress (CT)
*1991 - President Bush appoints Clarence Thomas to U.S. Supreme Court
*1998 - U.S. House of Representatives elects J. C. Watts (R-OK) to be Chairman of the House Republican Conference.
*2001 - President George W. Bush appoints General Colin L. Powell as the Secretary of State; Roderick R. Paige as the Secretary of Education; Condoleezza Rice as Advisor of the National Security Council and, subsequently, Secretary of State; Alphonso Jackson as the Deputy Secretary to Housing and Urban Development; Claude Allen as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services; Leo S. Mackay, Jr. as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs; Larry D. Thompson as the Deputy Attorney General; and Stephen A. Perry as Administrator of General Services Administration

Notable black conservatives in the United States

United States politicians

*Ken Blackwell, former Secretary of State of Ohio, former Ohio gubernatorial candidate
*Keith Butler, minister, former Detroit councilman, former candidate for U.S. Senate from Michigan
*Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, senior fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
*Steven Mullins,Commissioner of Planning and Zoning, West Haven,Connecticut. Republican nominee for State Comptroller in 2002.
*Rod Paige, former Secretary of Education
*Colin Powell, former United States Secretary of State
*Michael Powell, former FCC chairman
*Condoleezza Rice, United States Secretary of State, former National Security Advisor
*Winsome Sears, former member of Virginia House of Delegates, former candidate for U.S. House
*Michael S. Steele, former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, former candidate for U.S. Senate from Maryland
*Thomas Stith, town councilman of Durham, NC, former candidate for Lt. Gov. of NC
*J.C. Watts, former U.S. Representative from Oklahoma
*Michael L. Williams, chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission

United States judges

*Wallace Jefferson, chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court
*Janice Rogers Brown, U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
*Clarence Thomas, associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, former Equal Employment Opportunity Commission chairman

Talk show hosts

*Larry Elder, author of "10 Things You Can't Say in America", radio show host
*Alan Keyes, radio host, U.N. Ambassador, presidential candidate, author
*Angela McGlowan, Republican political analyst for Fox News Network
*Jesse Lee Peterson, president of The Brotherhood Organization, television and radio host
*Armstrong Williams, author of "Beyond Blame", TV host of "On Point"
*Herman Cain, newspaper columnist, businessman, politician, and radio talk-show host from Georgia


*Erik Rush, columnist, author
*La Shawn Barber, columnist, blogger
*Loo Oates, social commentator, columnist, blogger
*Stephen L. Carter, "Christianity Today" columnist, author of "The Culture of Disbelief"
*Ken Hamblin, Denver Post columnist
*Deroy Murdock, "National Review" columnist
*Star Parker, president of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, columnist, author
*Thomas Sowell, Hoover Institute fellow, economist, author of "Basic Economics"
*Walter E. Williams, economist, columnist, author of "More Liberty Means Less Government"
*Sophia A. Nelson, columnist, blogger, commentator, GOP political strategist, Chairman of and

Athletes and entertainers

*Lionel Hampton, musician and bandleaderFact|date=September 2008
*Yaphet Kotto, actorFact|date=September 2008
*Karl Malone, basketball player, two-time Olympic gold medalistFact|date=September 2008
*Joseph C. Phillips, actor, commentatorFact|date=September 2008
*Lynn Swann, football player, Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidateFact|date=September 2008
*Jimmie Walker, actor, comedianFact|date=September 2008


*Akindele Akinyemi,CEO of One Network and conservative educatorFact|date=September 2008
*Herman Cain, President of Godfather's PizzaFact|date=September 2008
*Ward Connerly, University of California regent, activist and businessmanFact|date=September 2008
*Ezola Foster, president of Americans for Family Values, author of "What's Right For All Americans"Fact|date=September 2008
*Samuel B. Fuller, 20th century entrepreneurFact|date=September 2008
*Robert A. George, journalist, pundit and bloggerFact|date=September 2008
*Niger Innis, director of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)Fact|date=September 2008
*Roy Innis, Hudson Institute fellow, chairman of the Congress of Racial EqualityFact|date=September 2008
*T.D Jakes, televangelistFact|date=September 2008
*Don King, boxing promoter []
*Michael King, National Advisory Board Member of Project 21, former radio talk show hostFact|date=September 2008
*John McWhorter, author of "Losing the Race" and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan InstituteFact|date=September 2008
*James Meredith, former civil rights activistFact|date=September 2008
*Eric Motley, former State Department official, now vice-president of the Aspen InstituteFact|date=September 2008
*Deroy Murdock, Wall Street Journal opinion contributor, Cato Institute ScholarFact|date=September 2008
*Gerald A. Reynolds, president of the Center for New Black Leadership, member of Project 21Fact|date=September 2008
*Vernon Robinson, Air Force intelligence officer, business professorFact|date=September 2008
*George Schuyler, journalist, novelistFact|date=September 2008
*Shelby Steele, Hoover Institute fellow, author of "The Content of Our Character"Fact|date=September 2008
*Stanley Crouch, author of "In Defence of Taboos"Fact|date=September 2008
*Lee Walker, president of the New Coalition for Economic and Social Change, Heartland Institute FellowFact|date=September 2008
*Michelle Bernard, President and CEO of the Independent Women's Forum [ [ Independent Women's Forum] ] and prominent media figure [ [] ] [ [] ]

Fictional black conservatives

Black conservative organizations

* [ Alliance of Black Republicans]
* [ African American Republican Leadership Council]
* [ Black Conservative Think Tank]
* [ Black America's PAC]
* [ Congress of Racial Equality]
* [ American Civil Rights Institute]
* [ New Coalition for Economic and Social Change]

ee also

*List of African American Republicans


External links

* [,noel,17337,1.html The Uncle Tom Dilemma] from The Village Voice
* [ The New Black Republicans] from WBUR, Boston's NPR
* [ The .......Uncle Tom Negro!] from

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