From the New York Times:
As a political science professor, I teach skeptical students that politics matters. It matters which party is in control, and who we select as our leaders. I have to explain the same thing to cynical students in my black politics classes, too. While some students express doubts that the elections of blacks have improved conditions for blacks, they have. Shut out from voting and from government, they were shut out from their fair share of government jobs, too. As African-Americans became more influential politically through the Voting Rights Act, the black power movement and their electoral mobilization, they were able to enter into promising careers in government. [About the author: Katherine Tate, a professor of political science at the University of California, Irvine, is affiliated with the university's African-American Studies Program and Center for the Study of Democracy. She is the author, most recently, of "What's Going On?: Political Incorporation and the Transformation of Black Public Opinion."]

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