Subordination or Empowerment?: African-American Leadership by Richard A. Keiser

By Richard A. Keiser

Why have Blacks gained political empowerment in a few towns and in others remained subordinated or had their achievements rolled again? Why perform a little towns have many Black leaders with multi-racial allure whereas different towns have none? Subordination or Empowerment solutions those questions via unique old examinations of the Black fight for political strength in Chicago, Gary, Philadelphia, and Atlanta. Keiser argues that electoral pageant between White factions has created possibilities for Black leaders to win real political empowerment and steer clear of subordination. whilst electoral pageant between Whites doesn't exist, Black votes lose their electoral leverage, resulting in the increase of extra-electoral thoughts. Keiser's dynamic thought of management formation explains the present attraction of Black separatism and messianism on the neighborhood and nationwide degrees and the ensuing upward push of leaders reminiscent of Louis Farakhan, and provides a rejoinder to Cornel West's critique of Black management in Race issues.

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Extra info for Subordination or Empowerment?: African-American Leadership and the Struggle for Urban Political Power

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Daley as mayor, the good-government versus machine basis of competition in Chicago politics had become irrelevant. 67 The upshot of Daley's efforts to win the favor of the city's business community was the separation of this group of leaders from the liberal/reform elements of the Kennelly and Merriam coalitions. The political demands of leaders of liberal reform organizations, like the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI) and the Independent Precinct Organization (IPO), went beyond increasing governmental efficiency, an absence of scandals, and enhancement of the city's infrastructure, all of which the business community sought and Daley delivered.

As a city councilman, Merriam had established a favorable record on issues of concern to Blacks. Although he promised to appoint Blacks to high offices within his administration, Merriam, like Kennelly, was an opponent of patronage, something Black leaders avidly sought. Merriam also refused to curtail his attacks on the city's corruption, in which Dawson was embroiled. 57 Merriam appealed to the same reform constituency as had Kennelly, as well as to the largely Republican business community, and won virtually the same wards.

47 He refused to capitulate to the violent reaction of White voters opposed to his anti-discrimination stance;48 but the party's committeemen and alder- 32 Subordination or Empowerment? men who ran the city's fifty wards had a different calculus. Rather than trying to build a citywide coalition, they were interested in maintaining the support of the White ethnic voters, who were the majority in most wards (due to segregation and ward homogeneity). 49 Political Competitiveness and Black Empowerment Chapter 1 hypothesized that competitive elections create circumstances in which Black voters can play a decisive role in electoral outcomes.

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