Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xiv

Finding the perfect way to say “thank you” to everyone that helped me with this project has been a difficult task because words cannot fully capture the extent of my gratitude. Still, it’s important for me to articulate how thankful I am to be surrounded by the vibrant intellectual...

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A Brief Note on Sources

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pp. xv-xvi

When I started this book, I assumed that finding archival sources and documents would be nearly impossible, since black Republicans were, and still are, a political minority within their racial communities and a racial minority within their political party. Discussions with other historians...

Abbreviations

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pp. xvii-xvii

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Introduction: The Paradox of the Black Republican

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pp. 1-12

There is a fascinating Saturday Night Live sketch from 1980, a piece almost entirely forgotten by most viewers of the NBC comedy show. The sketch survives in the pop culture arena only because it features the SNL debut of comedian Eddie Murphy. Airing about a month after the...

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1. Running with Hares and Hunting with Hounds

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pp. 13-41

“The Republican Party,” mused an African American voter in the early 1930s, “is the party for all, regardless of race, color, or creed.” Added another: “It was good enough for my father and it’s good enough for me.” “My politics is like my religion,” insisted a black Chicago resident...

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2. A Thorn in the Flesh of the GOP

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pp. 42-84

On November 3, 1964, more than 60 percent of Americans cast ballots for Lyndon B. Johnson in the presidential election, a decision that was as much a referendum against his Republican challenger, Barry Goldwater, as it was a victory for the Democratic incumbent. No group...

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3. The Challenge of Change

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pp. 85-135

In November 1966, in one of the country’s most intense senatorial races, Massachusetts attorney general Edward W. Brooke stunned the nation when he soundly defeated his Democratic challenger, Endicott Peabody. Earning the support of more than 60 percent of the Massachusetts...

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4. Richard Nixon’s Black Cabinet

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pp. 136-176

When readers opened the November 1968 special election issue of Jet magazine, they were inundated with slick political advertisements from three of the four presidential candidates. The black weekly offered no-nonsense messages from Freedom and Peace Party representative...

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5. Exorcising the Ghost of Richard Nixon

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pp. 177-219

By the early 1970s, black Republicans understood that the GOP was on the cusp of a major transformation—a political crisis that appeared to motivate even the most cynical within their ranks. At a moment when black appointees inside the White House were fighting to retain...

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6. More Shadow than Substance

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pp. 220-260

When Gerald Ford announced his nomination for secretary of transportation in January 1975, no one—not even black Republicans—was prepared to hear William T. Coleman’s name. Though black leaders and political elites had bandied about his résumé for years, they could not...

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7 . The Time of the Black Elephant

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pp. 261-301

On a brisk January morning in 1978, Republicans from across the nation traveled to Washington, D.C., for a special meeting of the Republican National Committee. Upon their arrival at the Mayflower Hotel’s Aviation Club, more than a few of the delegates were “visibly shocked” to see...

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Conclusion: No Room at the Inn

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pp. 302-310

The date was June 18, 1987. Clarence Thomas, the chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, stood at the podium at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., preparing to deliver a talk on blacks, conservatism, and the Republican Party.¹ His audience, a group...

Appendix

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pp. 311-314

Notes

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pp. 315-382

Index

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pp. 383-398