Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The African American Electorate: A Statistical History

Academic journal article Reference & User Services Quarterly

The African American Electorate: A Statistical History

Article excerpt

The African American Electorate: A Statistical History. Ed. by Hanes Walton Jr., Sherman C. Puckett, and Donald R. Deskins Jr. Thousand Oaks, CA: CQ Press, 2012. 2 vols. acid free $350 (ISBN: 9780872895089). Online access available, call for pricing.

There are several scholarly nonreference studies on African American voting; most tend to focus on particular regions and/or historically significant periods. As well, there are reference works concerning the general US electorate that may or may not include sections on African Americans. This reference set is unique in that it focuses solely on the African American electorate from a broad geographical perspective, covering both enfranchisement and disenfranchisement efforts during all eras of American history.

The book is arranged into well-written and detailed chapters by topic, each bolstered by an impressive collection of statistics, totaling more than 500 maps, diagrams, tables, and figures often down to the county level. Furthermore, an additional 170 pages of appendixes of longer, more detailed tables extend the chapter data. The topical chapter arrangement is a departure from most studies on the subject, which are usually in strict chronological order or by region. The topical nature of the work leads to interesting chapters such as "Felon and Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement" or "The National Equal Rights League," which further contextualizes the mass of data. …

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