Expert on Young African American Voters Available to Discuss their Impact on Midterm Elections and the Obama Youth Summit

Oct 12, 2010, 14:41 ET from Cathy Cohen

WASHINGTON, Oct. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  The following was released today by Cathy Cohen:

WHO:  Cathy J. Cohen, an award winning political science professor at the University of Chicago, is available for broadcast and print interviews on the impact that young Black voters may (or may not) have on the midterm elections, and to discuss the Obama youth summit.  Ms. Cohen's just released new book, DEMOCRACY REMIX, offers a comprehensive analysis of Black youth in America, and how this demographic will impact American politics. She is available to answer questions, such as:

  • Will Black youths have an impact on the 2010 mid-term elections?
  • Will fallout from President Obama's strategy to not actively engage the black community keep Black youths away from the voting booth?
  • Is Obama's youth summit too little, too late to energize this important demographic group?

WHAT: Ms. Cohen has pointed views on these important issues.  Here are some of her thoughts:

-There is a myth that there is some homogenous, progressive youth movement in America and that if we just wait 10 years cultural issues like same sex marriage, abortion and stem cell research will just fade away.  WRONG.  One of the huge divides between young Black people and young Whites is that young Blacks believe that same sex marriage, homosexuality and abortions are morally wrong.

-There's tension today among Black political leaders.  There is the first generation of Black politicians from Black districts, who define themselves as representing the interests of Black people. But now there is the new wave of Black politicians.  President Obama, Governor Deval Patrick, Mayor Cory Booker are examples of these third wave Black elected officials. These politicians understand and cater to a broader constituency base than Black communities. Their political agenda is different, as is their constituency and fund raising base. They also tend to avoid direct discussions of race issues.

-What do young Blacks want? They want safer neighborhoods not only for themselves but for their children. We forget that young Blacks under 25 often have kids and they worry about their children. They want neighborhood schools that educate.  They want opportunities for jobs that allow them to provide for their families. They talk about the basic things that have come to define the American Dream; I don't think we pay enough attention to what young Blacks have to say.

-Black youth are not mindless consumers of rap music.  Critics of Black youth are quick to focus on gansta rap—see the recent criticism of President Obama for listening to NAS and Lil Wayne. But Black youth are critical consumers of rap music, believing that rap music should be less violent, have fewer references to sex and that the worst videos and songs degrade both Black women and men.

CONTACT:  Ms. Cohen is available for all broadcast and print interviews. To schedule an interview, please contact Michael K. Frisby, 202.625.4328, mike@frisbyassociates.com  or Nicole Germain at 443-540-3121, ngermain@mjgcommunications.com.  For a video preview of Ms. Cohen, please go to http://mindonline.uchicago.edu/media/news/cohen_2010_09_23.mov  

SOURCE Cathy Cohen