By Fredrick C. Harris

The alterations in black activism because the civil rights circulation may be characterised through a tug-of-war among black political energy on one part and monetary stipulations in black groups at the different in response to this research. As blacks achieve higher entry and impression in the political approach, black participation in political actions raises whereas downward turns within the financial stipulations of black groups produce much less civic involvement in black groups. interpreting adjustments in black activism from the early Nineteen Seventies to the Nineties, this tug-of-war demonstrates that the search for black political empowerment and the realities of monetary and social existence act as countervailing forces.

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Extra resources for Countervailing Forces in African-American Civic Activism, 1973-1994

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And most African Americans are opposed to radical notions of black nationalism, but lower-income blacks are more likely to support radical nationalism than the rest of the black population (Dawson 1994a, 199). 3. Black family income dispersion (GINI index), 1973–1994. Source: Current Population Survey To capture the effects of income inequality among blacks in our macro approach to black participation, we use the GINI index, a measure used to estimate the degree of income inequality within a group or society.

As economist Martin Carnoy notes of the changing economic circumstances of poor/working-class blacks as opposed to middle-class blacks in the post–civil rights era: [T]he fall in black fortunes after the mid-1970s, and especially after 1979, was tied mainly to a decline in the incomes of low-income black households, where, almost by definition, part-time work was the rule rather than the exception. The black middle-class expanded slightly in the 1980s and their average income continued to increase.

On the empowerment side we ask: How have aggregate-level changes in the number of black elected officials over the years influenced aggregate-level movements in black civic participation? What difference does having a Democrat or Republican in the White House have on black civic participation? How much does having a viable black presidential candidate influence black civic participation? Have changes in the number of blacks going to college enhanced black civic participation over time? On the social and economic distress side we ask: Do fluctuations in black unemployment alter aggregate-level movements in black civic activity?

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