The Western Journal of Black Studies

Volume 31, Issue 1

In the Shadow of Barack Obama:
Two African American Senatorial Candidates in Georgia’s 2004 Elections: Republican Herman Cain and Democrat Denise Majette
Hanes Walton Jr.—University of Michigan
Kenneth A. Jordan—Savannah State University
Barbara J. Mobley—Georgia State Court, Dekalb County
Sylvia Goldman—Georgia, State Court, Division Five

The black political experience in all of its totality or in terms of its causal realities flows from the politics of race in America and its sundry manifestations in the American political process (Walton, 1997). V.O. Key writes “In its grand outlines the politics of the South revolves around the position of the Negro. It is at times interpreted as a politics of cotton, as a politics of free trade, as a politics of agrarian poverty, or as a politics of planter and plutocrat. Although such interpretations have a superficial validity, in the last analysis the major peculiarities of southern politics go back to the Negro. Whatever phases of the southern political process one seeks to understand, sooner or later, the trail of inquiry leads to the Negro” (V.O. Key, Jr., 1997). Until Carol Moseley-Braun’s nomination for the U.S. Senate in the State of Illinois, no black woman with major party backing had ever run for the U.S. Senate. Most Major party candidates have been white men. Chief among the problems limiting the electability of women as well as minorities is political incumbency (Tate, 1997). This paper sketches the checkered political landscape in Georgia during the past half century. Within this context, these writers explore the odyssey of two African American political candidates seeking their respective party’s nomination as well as a seat in the U.S. Senate in Georgia’s 2004 election.
pp. 1-8

The Effects of Race on College Selectivity
Lamont A. Flowers—Clemson University

Utilizing cross-sectional data from African American students and White students from 56 four-year colleges and universities, the purpose of this exploratory study was to estimate the extent to which African American students attended colleges where the average academic ability of the institution’s student body was lower than colleges attended by White students. Controlling for individual college entrance examination scores, results from the study suggested that African American female and male students were more likely to attend less selective colleges than were White female and male students.
pp. 9-16

Is there a Racial/Ethnic Hierarchy in
Health Status and Care

Augustine J. Kposowa—University of California, Riverside

The purpose of the study was to examine racial and ethnic disparities in self-rated health status and health care index by number of physician visits in the United States. It was hypothesized that African Americans and other disadvantaged minorities will have poorer health than whites.

Data employed were from pooled files of the National Health Interview Surveys covering 1987 through 1994. Proportional odds and Poisson regression models were fitted to the data. It was observed that African Americans were nearly 52% more likely to be in poor health than whites. Other racial/ethnic groups also posted odds of poor health status that were higher than those of whites. African Americans and other minorities made fewer physician visits than whites. An racial/ethnic hierarchy was observed in the analysis of health status. Reasons for the observed effect of race on health, along with the existence of a racial hierarchy were explored in the study.
pp. 17-32

Affirmative Action:
Why We Should Consider Reform

Sami Chedli Nighaoui—King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Considering why preferential programs should be continued is an underlying concern of this essay. But sustaining affirmative action as it stands today will cause the current contentions to continue. An essential part of this essay is in fact about the possibility of reforming affirmative action so that it meets the long-term needs of the truly disadvantaged blacks, taking into account its present shortcomings. Propositions to replace the current system of preferences with a class-based model of opportunity are in the final analysis discredited on the ground that blackness remains a stigma with which African Americans have to live.
pp. 33-49

Race, Environmental Justice, and Interest Group Mobilizations:
Hazardous Waste and the Case of Sumter County, Alabama

Revathi Hines—Southern University and A & M College

This study examines the impact the dynamics of environmental group movements, race, and interest group mobilization. A case study approach is used to study the challenges that exist in balancing environmental concerns with civil right concerns in African American communities. This study looks at the establishment of a hazardous facility in the town of Emelle, Sumter county, Alabama; the grassroots coalitions that bloomed in response to the facility; the dynamics of race and alliances that ensued with the establishment of environmental interest groups; and the impact of the differences in agenda setting between an all-White environmental group and the Black civil rights leaders in Sumter county. It is interesting to observe the development of grassroots coalitions in Emelle; the strategies used by these small groups in confronting an industrial giant; and the clash that emerged between the goals of environmental coalitions and goals of civil rights or social equity in Sumter County. It is proposed that positive community-wide mobilization can be initiated by avoiding a narrow focus on environmental justice and linking environmental justice to the broader political, social, and economic issues of the community.
pp. 50-57

Exploring the Relationship Between Race-Related Stress, Identity, and
Well-Being Among African Americans

Darrick Tovar-Murray—Depaul University
Patrick H. Munley—Western Michigan University

The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between race-related stress, identity, and well-being among African Americans. A total of 196 African American community members and college students participated in this study. Consistently throughout the analyses, social class, education and ethnic identity emerged as significant predictors of well-being for African Americans with higher social class, more education, and stronger ethnic identity associated with higher quality of life, greater self-esteem and greater life satisfaction.
pp. 58-71

Book Reviews

The Works of William Wells Brown:
Using His “Strong, Manly Voice”

Editors: Paula Garrett and Hollis Robbins
Reviewer: Jack Carson, University of Wisconsin, Madison
pp. 72-74

African American Psychology:
From Africa to America

Authors: Faye Z. Belgrave and Kevin W. Alllison
Reviewer: Jocelyn Turner-Musa, Morgan State University
pp. 74-75


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