With the Senate majority practically settled for Democratic control and the House going red by a razor-thin margin, it is clear that Americans have yet again demonstrated their loyalty towards democracy and their concerns about the egregious reversal of abortion rights, green energy strategies, and other critical national policies. One key bloc of voters that helped turn the 2022 midterms from a ‘red wave’ to a ‘red ripple’ was black voters, especially in swing states.

It is no longer a secret that we are going through a new period of Jim Crow-style restrictions deliberately aimed at keeping minority voters down in an America that is slowly becoming less white every year. From 2010 to 2018, almost half of all states in the union enacted restrictive laws aimed primarily at African American communities. 2021 marked a sharp spiral downwards, with 19 states passing such anti-democratic legislation in a single year.

The reason behind this desperate Republican strategy is clear. While black voters only account for 13.6% of eligible voters this election cycle, they are the key to Democratic victory in a number of purple states. Most notably, they constitute nearly one-third of the entire electorate in places like Georgia, which will now be seeing a run-off election between two Black candidates next month.

Nonetheless, black voters have proved yet again that they are unwilling to back down in the face of tyranny and leave the country in the hands of an increasingly far-right Republican Party. In recent years, young black voters are seeing an increasing, though still short of impressive, turnout rate in key swing states, accounting for a critical factor in turning many hard-red states purple in 2020.

This year, the summer before the mid-term elections was marked by enthusiasm and alarm among Black eligible voters all across the country. Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, expressed her resolution to match or outpace the black turnout of 2020 this year. A few months before the midterms, the National Unity 2022 black Voting and Power Building Campaign brought together over 50 organizations from across the nation to educate and energize Black voters about the significance of the upcoming election. Some other major groups that led the effort include the NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network, and Black Voters Matter. Countless local campaigns were organized by local young leaders to ensure high turnout on November 8, including in Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

The effort seems to have paid off nicely. Black voters played a critical role in helping Reverend Raphael Warnock secure a statistical win over his Republican contender, and local leaders remain confident that they will turn out in massive numbers to help turn the state blue on December 6. Similarly, in Wisconsin, where Democrats have won the last few Governor and Presidential elections by very small margins, local campaigners managed to push a near-record number of voters to register this year.

The Democrats cannot take the black vote for granted, however. Popular disillusionment with the U.S. Government and the lack of willingness to enact progressive solutions for the everyday issues facing them has made many black voters lose confidence. While not many have switched to the Republican side, fewer black voters now express support for the Democratic Party than even two years prior.

Anthony Tilghman

Anthony Tilghman, is an 3x Award-winning Photojournalist, Education advocate, Mentor, and Published Author with years of experience in media, photography, marketing and branding. He is the Winner of the...

Leave a comment