What does the Future of Black Politics in the US look like?

Written by Evan Quaintance

Member of the Young People Advisory Board

(Photo By Congressional Black Caucus Foundation)

For over 200 years, there have been 107 Historically Black Colleges and Universities established. Since then we have had a Black Vice President,  multiple generations of Black Congressional Leaders, and a Black President. 


Continuously we have broken through barriers that have prevented the advancement of Black political power, this can best be seen by the record 58 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  The question we must all ask now is where do we go from here? Do we continue to strive for new positions and reach new heights or do we focus on constant communal engagement and uplifting? The future is bright and the world is watching our next steps, we must make a key pivot. 


An important aspect that is left out of the political conversation is the distinction between policy and politics. We must understand that the beauty of black politics is in its origins: the perseverance and dedication of our ancestors. We must recapture that energy and apply it to today’s world. In that spirit, a key topic that is not being relished enough is the organizing power for the upcoming 2024 presidential election. We must understand our Spelman sister Stacey Abrams’ journey for the coveted gubernatorial position in Albany, Georgia. 


Following the 2020 election, Abrams spent two years dedicating her life to educating Georgians on new oppressive voting laws, hosting voter engagements, and staying rooted in the community. It is on the back of that foundational work the state of Georgia’s political future will surely look different for generations to come. This should be the goal for all young Black minds in the world of politics. We have seen firsthand how necessary it is to elect new Black political leaders in positions of government that have historically been difficult to fill. For instance, we now have our first Black governor in Maryland, Wes Moore. Governor races in particular are extremely challenging to build Black political representation and it is truly incredible to see history happen in Maryland. 


We must engage voters within Black communities constantly, not just when elections are near. We are on the destined path to break through the barriers of voter restriction tactics and misinformation concerning the impact of Black voter representation, and we will achieve our goal by introducing this reframed understanding of politics to the broader black community.    


As we enter into Black History Month under the shadow of the tragedy of Tyre Nichols’ public lynching at the hands of police, the country is once again, on edge. In the recently released footage, you can hear Tyre call out for his mother, in the hopes of the officers hearing the call and registering his humanity, but that was not the case. Instead, Tyre was assaulted by multiple men who greatly outweighed him causing him to pass away in the hospital three days after the heinous attack.  

At this moment the great Alain Locke’s words are heavy on my mind. He stated, “The New spirit is awake in the masses … Each generation … will have its creed.” 


I claim our creed is understanding politics is about life, while life is not about politics. We have weathered the storm of racism, bigotry, and pure hatred from countless groups, and yet life still goes on. We have cried and lost at an unprecedented rate, our lives are at risk all over this country. The groups led by racists and powered by hatred do not disagree with our politics due to policy but due to the diverse cast of minds that are considered, this is why we must see an attack on our political priorities as simply the first step in an attack on our livelihoods. It is clear through this understanding we must reframe the way we discuss politics in general society. We can no longer have disagreements about a reframed understanding of Black Politics that runs in our blood and carries us to black excellence. On the contrary, we must hold the aims of communal integration as our platform to share with the youth and anyone else looking for a different view of the future. Only through this will the youth be impassioned to enact the same foundational work that has taken place in Georgia, allowing our desires of tomorrow, to be spread today. 


We simply desire the tools to enable our success. We desire the ability to receive a high-level education. We do not desire anything that has not been interwoven into the promises of the American dream, like the generations of countless Americans before us, we want our dreams to be fulfilled as well. We deserve a chance at a good life.  It just so happens that today’s world is the result of generations of reactionary politics. Due to this, we are facing a climate crisis, an expansive gun problem, and a nihilistic philosophy of the world. Our parents, role models, and mentors always taught us to stand up for what is right and that is what we are doing, fighting for the right of our humanity to be understood and considered in the everchanging melting pot in this country. 


We are the living proof of resilience, we must overcome the forces that be because our people have overcome so much more. Indulge that appreciation of those who have come before you and develop a true love for those who will grace this planet after you.