Joe Biden’s win in Georgia and the historic elections of Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff to represent Georgia in the Senate during the 2020 elections elevated a continuing national conversation about the power of the Black electorate. Exit poll data from the 2020 election in November found that Black Americans represented over 50% of all Democratic voters in Georgia. The high Black voter turnout reflects the extraordinary, years-long work of on-the-ground organizing efforts and the changing demographics of the South.
On February 22, as part of our Black History Month programming, the Brookings Institution hosted a webinar focusing on the past, present, and future of Black political power in the South. Speakers discussed the role Black voters have played in helping the Democratic Party achieve key political gains, changing demographics in southern states, and how the current dynamics relate to the country’s historical legacy. Panelists also discussed who comprises the Black community in the South, highlighting the diversity of its voices, experiences, and perspectives.