Black Faces in the Mirror: African Americans and Their Representatives in the U.S. Congress

Princeton University Press
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Here, Katherine Tate examines the significance of race in the U.S. system of representative democracy for African Americans. Presenting important new findings, she offers the first empirical study to take up the question of representation from both sides of the constituent-representative relationship.

The first half of the book examines whether black members of the U.S. House legislate and represent their constituents differently than white members do. Representation is broadly conceptualized to include not only legislators' roll call voting behavior and bill sponsorship, but also the symbolic acts in which they engage. The second half looks at the issue of representation from the perspective of ordinary African Americans based on a landmark national survey.


Tate's findings are mixed. But, in the main, legislators' race does shape how they represent their constituents and how constituents evaluate them. African Americans view black representatives more positively than they do white representatives, even those who belong to their own political party. Black legislators, however, are just as likely as white representatives to sponsor and gain passage of bills in the House. Tate also concludes that black House members are more liberal as a group than are their black constituents, but that there is considerable divergence in the quality and type of representation they provide.


The findings reported here will generate controversy in the fields of politics, law, and race, particularly as debate commences over renewing the Voting Rights Act, which is set to expire in 2007.

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About the author

Katherine Tate is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of From Protest to Politics and coauthor of African Americans and the American Political System (Fourth Edition).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Jun 5, 2018
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780691186351
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / General
Political Science / Political Process / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"UNCONSCIONABLE" by Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett is a Patriot's View as Others See. The book shines light on the wrongheaded and immoral nature of US foreign relations policy and practice. Published by Xlibris and released at Rochester, N.Y. (PRWEB) August 29, 2014: "Acts committed by and/or in the name of one's homeland must be of concern to inhabitants of that land it is their duty to be concerned and engaged," Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett says in expressing the relevance of her work.

"UNCONSCIONABLE" lays out a view of what is and what should be, what is wrong and what is better. In six map-illustrated chapters, this work of nonfiction documents U.S. foreign relations as global, unprovoked and unchecked violence. As it is also a hope for change, the work not only comments on significance and repercussions of the current state of affairs, it offers corrective measures. As the work of a veteran educator, its ending sections further instruct with reference tools of extensive sources and notes, appendices and index covering contributors and background material, international principles and conventions; and components of the great body to which the book is dedicated, the 193-member-states United Nations.

Dr. Bennett takes a world view as articulated by others in independent, alternative print and broadcast sources, offering especially American readers an unfiltered, oft unseen perspective on how the rest of the world sees U.S. relations with the world's peoples. The hope Bennett ventures is that "if we (Americans) see ourselves as others see us, we will be moved to change our ways for the better."

"UNCONSCIONABLE"
By Dr. Carolyn LaDelle Bennett
Hardcover | 6 x 9in | 306 pages | ISBN 9781499043143
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 306 pages | ISBN 9781499043150
E-Book | 306 pages | ISBN 9781499043136
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

Dr. Carolyn L. Bennett is credentialed in education and print journalism and public affairs. A lifelong American writer and writer/activist, her work concerns itself with news and current affairs, historical contexts and ideas particularly related to acts and consequences of US foreign relations; matters of geopolitics, human rights, war and peace, violence and nonviolence.

PRWeb Home:
http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm

The central domestic issue in the United States over the long history of this nation has been the place of the people of color in American society. One aspect of this debate is how African-Americans are represented in Congress. Kenny J. Whitby examines congressional responsiveness to black interests by focusing on the representational link between African-American constituents and the policymaking behavior of members of the United States House of Representatives. The book uses the topics of voting rights, civil rights, and race- based redistricting to examine how members of Congress respond to the interests of black voters. Whitby's analysis weighs the relative effect of district characteristics such as partisanship, regional location, degree of urbanization and the size of the black constituency on the voting behavior of House members over time. Whitby explores how black interests are represented in formal, descriptive, symbolic, and substantive terms. He shows the political tradeoffs involved in redistricting to increase the number of African-Americans in Congress.
The book is the most comprehensive analysis of black politics in the congressional context ever published. It will appeal to political scientists, sociologists, historians, and psychologists concerned with minority politics, legislative politics, and the psychological, political, and sociological effects of increasing minority membership in Congress on the perception of government held by African Americans.
Kenny J. Whitby is Associate Professor of Political Science, University of South Carolina.
Descriptive studies of women in office have well documented the ways in which the gender and race of legislators affects policy preferences. However, descriptive studies of female legislators tend to treat identity as constant over time and context and so fail to account for the substantive work of legislators. As Sisters in the Statehouse shows, it is not enough to disaggregate "women" from "Blacks." While scholars have long advanced the notion that African American women as a group exhibit specificities informed by the intersection of race and gender that provide them with a unique worldview, it is necessary to further explore differences among Black women. This book addresses this gap by utilizing humanistic inquiry to examine the connection between descriptive and substantive representation in the case of Black women legislators. This link hinges on how such legislators see the effects of their own race-gender identity on their legislative work. By combining humanistic and social science techniques, including feminist life histories, elite interviews, and participant observation in conjunction with legislative case studies and bill sponsorship data, Nadia E. Brown presents a fuller description of how identity informs Black women state legislators' descriptive and substantive representation. Linking personal narratives to political behavior, Brown elicits the feminist life histories of African American women legislators to understand how their experiences with racism and sexism have influenced their legislative decision-making and policy preferences. Sisters in the Statehouse is a groundbreaking inquiry into how an intersectional approach can enhance our understanding of political representation.
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