Relative wealth has given suburban African Americans employment opportunities and political resources--but not necessarily neighbors, coworkers, or elected officials who share their concerns. How does this environment affect the political behavior of African Americans who have strong racial identifications and policy preferences? Ernest McGowen III
set out to answer this question in African Americans in White Suburbia: Social Networks and Political Behavior
(University Press of Kansas, 2017). McGowen is assistant professor of political science, University of Richmond.
McGowen uses a various surveys to understand the opinion and behavior of suburban African Americans and compares these attitudes their white neighbors and to African Americans in the city. The findings from the book reveal that suburban African Americans feel their minority status acutely. As a result, they find more agreeable networks that reinforce their racial identity, such as churches, fraternal organizations, and charities in black neighborhoods they've left behind.