Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 75-93

First online:

Compassionate Conservatism and African Americans: Politics Puts Faith to Work and Gains New Allies?

  • Sherri L. WallaceAffiliated withDepartment of Political Science, University of Louisville Email author 
  • , Angela K. LewisAffiliated withDepartment of Government, University of Alabama at Birmingham

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Historically African Americans have been loyal to the Democratic Party; yet some discontentment may allow opportunity for the Republican Party to make inroads among African American voters. Situated within the context of the Republican electoral “compassionate conservatism” strategy, the purpose of this work is to demonstrate how Republicans are building political relationships with loyal democratic African American voters through cogitative tactics grounded in religion and moral values. We describe the relationship between African Americans and conservatism, examining alliances between Blacks and Republicans, highlighting “compassionate conservatism” and the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, and then analyze two case studies from the 2002 elections to explore the question: Is the compassionate conservatism strategy a blessing or curse for the African American electorate?


Compassionate conservatism African Americans Politics