Race and Representation in Twenty-First Century America

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Robert Brown


This article examines Black women in the development of African-American politics, initially using race as a framework for analyzing the evolution of African-American politics. The article broadens its focus to use an intersectional analysis in explaining Black women’s prominence in representation and voter participation. It discusses criminal justice reform, arguing how the increased incarceration of Black women and girls should change the narrative of the Black community’s perspective towards this issue. Finally, there is a discussion of infant and maternal mortality and criminal justice reform as issues that demand greater attention in the Black community.


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Author Biography

Robert Brown, Spelman College

Robert Brown, PhD, is associate professor in the Department of Political Science at Spelman College, and he is a member of the retainer faculty for ADW. He earned his PhD in political science from the University of Michigan and MSPH in epidemiology from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Brown’s areas of expertise in his research and teaching are: data analysis and research methods, American politics, African American politics, race and American political development, and urban politics. His research has been published in the following journals: Challenge: A Journal of Research on African American Men, The DuBois Review, The Journal of African American Studies, International Journal of Disability and Human Development, The Journal of Politics, National Political Science Review, and Urban Affairs Review. He is currently completing a book manuscript tentatively entitled Black Cities: Black Elected Officials During the Civil Rights Era, 1970–1990. Dr. Brown is a coeditor, with Todd Shaw and Joseph McCormick, of the forthcoming book, After Obama: African-American Politics in a Post- Obama Era.