African Americans are more involved in the American political process than other minority groups in the United States, because, as indicated by the highest level of voter registration and participation in elections among these groups in 2004. African Americans have achieved higher levels of education than immigrants to the United States. African Americans also have the highest level of Congressional representation of any minority group in the United States.
A large majority of African Americans also support the Democratic Party. In the 2004 Presidential Election, Democrat John Kerry received 88 percent of the African American voters compared to 11 percent for Republican George W. Bush. Historically, the African Americans who supported the Republican Party only votes were because of the Republican President Abraham Lincoln due to him helping grant freedom to American slaves.
At the time, the Republicans and Democrats represented the sectional interests of the North and South, respectively, rather than any specific beliefs, and both Republicans and Democratic were represented equally in both parties. The African American trend of voting for Democrats can be traced all the way back to the 1930’s during the Great Depression. When Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program provided economic relief to African Americans; Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition turned the Democratic Party into an organization of the working class and their liberal allies, regardless of region.
The African American voters became even more exclusively Democratic, when Democratic presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson pushed for the civil rights legislation during the 1960s. After over 50 years, the marriage rates for all Americans began to decrease while the divorce rates and out-of-wedlock births have increased. These changes have been the greatest amongst the African Americans.
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