Politics in the New South

Representation of African Americans in Southern State Legislatures

Edited by Charles E. Menifield & Stephen D. Shaffer

Subjects: State And Local Politics, Political Parties, African American Studies, American Government
Series: SUNY series in African American Studies
Paperback : 9780791465325, 244 pages, June 2006
Hardcover : 9780791465318, 244 pages, September 2005

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Table of contents


1. An Introduction to Southern Legislative Coalitions
Stephen D. Shaffer, Charles E. Menifield, Peter W. Wielhouwer and Keesha M. Middlemass

2. African Americans in the Arkansas General Assembly: 1972–1999
Janine A. Parry and William Miller

3. African Americans in the Contemporary Florida Legislature
Steven Tauber

4. Black Representation in Georgia
Peter W. Wielhouwer and Keesha M. Middlemass

5. Representation of African Americans in the Contemporary Mississippi Legislature
Stephen D. Shaffer and Charles E. Menifield

6. Cohesiveness and Diversity among Black Members of the Texas State Legislature
Michelle G. Briscoe

7. An Overview of African American Representation in Other Southern States
Charles E. Menifield, Stephen D. Shaffer and Brandi J. Brassell

8. Politics in the New South: Looking Ahead
Charles E. Menifield, Stephen D. Shaffer and Barbara A. Patrick

About the Contributors

Documents political advances made by African Americans in the South over the last twenty-five years.


Winner of the 2006 V. O. Key Award presented by the Southern Political Science Association

This authoritative study of contemporary state legislatures in the South provides a fascinating account of how African Americans have achieved noticeable political power since the Voting Rights Act was passed in 1965. A history of racial discrimination and one-party Democratic dominance is being supplanted by African American empowerment in a competitive two-party system. Contributors examine the evolution of the Black Caucus, the growing number of African American lawmakers, and the rise of black legislators to important leadership positions in the legislatures of each of the southern states. Roll call data on key votes from several legislative sessions in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas are analyzed.

Charles E. Menifield is Associate Professor at the University of Memphis, where he teaches research methods, political statistics, budgeting and finance, and public management information systems. He is the editor of Representation of Minority Groups in the U. S.: Implications for the Twenty-first Century. Stephen D. Shaffer is Professor of Political Science at Mississippi State University and the coeditor (with Dale Krane) of Mississippi Government and Politics: Modernizers versus Traditionalists.