University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

UCONN READS / Requiem on Race: Black Politics & the GOP

Friday, October 23, 2015
12:15pm – 1:30pm

Storrs Campus
Oak Hall Room 438


“‘Requiem on Race: Black Politics and the Modern Republican Party” Leah Wright Rigueur, Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Friday, October 23 / 12:15PM / Oak Hall, Room 438

Leah Wright Rigueur will base her talk on her new book, The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power (Princeton University Press, 2015). As racial minorities in their political party and political minorities within their community, black Republicans occupy a strange position – shunned by African American communities and subordinated by the GOP. Yet, there is a measure of irony to this “loneliness” – at various points, the Republican Party has instituted some of the policies and programs offered by black Republicans, and has even gone so far as to make African Americans “the face” of various initiatives, many of which are hostile to civil rights. Within this talk, Professor Wright Rigueur will discuss the long and contradictory history of race, conservatism and black politics, tracking the political involvement of African Americans in the GOP from Jackie Robinson to Ben Carson.

Leah Wright Rigueur is an Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her work emphasizes history, race, civil rights and political ideology; her research, writing and commentary has been featured in a number of different outlets including CNN, CBS, PBS, NPR, MSNBC, the Washington Post, the Daily Beast, Huffington Post Live, and Salon. Before joining the Kennedy School faculty, Leah was a professor at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Leah’s research interests include 20th Century United States political and social history, and modern African American history. Her work emphasizes race, civil rights, political ideology, the American two-party system and the presidency. At the Kennedy School, she teaches courses on race, riot and backlash in the United States, and the Civil Rights Movement, race and policy in Modern America. Beginning in the of Fall 2015, Leah will also lead Race and American Politics, a multidisciplinary series of seminars and roundtables, co-sponsored by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation and the Malcolm Weiner Center for Social Policy, and dedicated to the most pressing political and social issues related to race in the United States.

The Loneliness of the Black Republican is Professor Wright Rigueur’s first book, which takes a long approach to American history and not only tells an important story about race and the Republican Party, but also expands our understanding of the evolution in opinions and behaviors of everyday African Americans that supported or rejected the GOP on a local, state, and national level, between 1936 and present day.

Sponsors: Africana Studies, Asian/Asian American Studies Institute, and Department of Political Science

More Info: please contact Prof. Cathy Schlund-Vials


Ms. Fe Delos-Santos at

Asian American Studies Institute (primary), Africana Studies Institute, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, History Department, Political Science, UConn Master Calendar

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