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Issues, not candidates, drive Black Women’s votes

The Afro — “The results of the 2020 South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday shows once again, that you can’t win the Democratic presidential nomination without winning the South, and you can’t win the South without the Black vote, and you can’t win the Black vote without winning the Black women’s vote,” said Melanie Campbell, national convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. 

BWR’s latest annual report found that race relations, especially the rise in hate crimes, is the most important issue for Black women voters. (Courtesy Photo)

BWR’s latest annual report found that race relations, especially the rise in hate crimes, is the most important issue for Black women voters. (Courtesy Photo)

By Donna Lewis Johnson and Micha Green

On March 4, the day after Super Tuesday, the Black Women’s Roundtable released its seventh annual report on Black women and justice at a press conference featuring a panel of leading political scientists and civil rights activists.

“The Power of Black Women’s Leadership to Move a Justice Agenda Forward in the 2020 Decade” found that Black women are a bellwether force in Democratic elections.

“The results of the 2020 South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday shows once again, that you can’t win the Democratic presidential nomination without winning the South, and you can’t win the South without the Black vote, and you can’t win the Black vote without winning the Black women’s vote,” said Melanie Campbell, national convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president and chief executive officer of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation.

According to published news reports, Black women voters played a key role in former vice president Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 South Carolina Democratic primary election.

“I am so very proud of what we accomplished in South Carolina,” said Trudy Lucus, who manages religious affairs and external relations at National Action Network. “The Black women’s vote determined the South Carolina primary, and as you can see what we did and what we accomplished.”

BWR’s latest annual report found that race relations, especially the rise in hate crimes, is the most important issue for Black women voters. Other issues concerning the voting bloc include health, economic security and prosperity, education and policing.

“We looked at really what is driving the Black women’s vote… and ultimately what we found is that a sense of responsibility is especially important for Black women, and tends to drive our vote, more than loyalty to a specific candidate,” said Dr. Avis Jones-DeWeever, the report’s editor-in-chief.

Despite the decisive role African American women voters have played in Democratic elections, BWR said that the results for Black women are not commensurate.

“Black women have proven, time and time again, to be one of the most powerful and influential voting blocs in the nation. Yet and still, Black women face numerous challenges.”

“I think it is on Black women’s minds what we are we going to get for our vote this time, especially looking back on ’08,” said Dr. Elsie Scott, a panelist and founding director of the Ronald W. Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center at Howard University.

The Black Women’s Roundtable is an arm of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, a civil rights and social justice organization based in Washington, D.C. The BWR champions just and fair public policy for Black women and girls.

This article originally appeared in The Afro.

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