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Black Elephants in the RoomThe Unexpected Politics of African American Republicans$
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Corey D. Fields

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520291898

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520291898.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Black Elephants in the Room

Corey D. Fields

University of California Press

This introductory chapter presents an overview of African American Republicans. The experience of being African American and Republican unfolds within a political party that is unarguably dominated by whites. Consequently, African American Republicans must manage blackness in a predominantly white context. Their strategies for linking blackness with their partisanship raise questions about taken-for-granted assumptions regarding racial identity and black people's political behavior. Thus, the case of African American Republicans shows the importance of attending to the variation in how black people understand their racial identity. Moreover, the experiences of African American Republicans force consideration of the different ways that black people attach meaning to their racial identity and how those meanings inform political behavior.

Keywords:   African American Republicans, blackness, racial identity, black people, political behavior

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