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June 24 , 2009

African Americans and the Politics of Congressional Redistricting


This book provides a detailed analysis of the politics of racial redistricting, a topic of particular concern in light of recent federal court cases. The book is divided into two parts. Part one examines the historical exclusion of blacks from the American political process and the politics behind congressional redistricting. The text focuses on partisan manoeuvering and assesses whose interests were being served. In particular, the book chronicles the legislative action (creation of majority black districts) in North Carolina and around the South. Part two shifts the focus to the myriad of legal battles that ensued as a result of the newly-created districts in North Carolina and around the South. Majority black districts have been dismantled in the Supreme Court. This has been due to the criticism of their "arbitrary" shape, and the notion that race was considered a predominant fact or in their design. Yet, irregularly-shaped majority white districts have not been accused of violating districting principles. This book purports that blacks were not elected to national office in large numbers prior to the creation of majority black districts, indicating the continuing need for race-conscious districting as a temporary solution to a complex problem.
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