Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Robert Sengstacke Abbott - A Force in American History...

Cross posted at American Hot Sausage

Last night I went to the Chicago Defender with the music director of the documentary “Paper Trail: 100 Years of the Chicago Defender” and discovered some interesting news. Robert Sengstacke Abbott can be considered the father of modern day black America. He was responsible for a major shift in America's culture. He influenced a geographical change in the African American community that was considered The Great Migration, a mass movement of black people relocating from the rural South to the urban North. The only other migration that can remotely compare to this is the force migration of blacks from New Orleans because of Katrina. Can you believe when blacks were migrating to Chicago, the founder of the Chicago Tribune (McCormick) tried to prevent blacks from settling in Chicago and offered to pay the fares of any black person that wanted to return back to the Jim Crow South.

Interestingly, Abbott was recognized by FDR for single handedly getting him elected because the black vote was considered the swing vote during his second term. Ultimately, this led to the monumental switch of blacks voting strictly Republican to us voting strictly Democratic. Ironically, we never even benefited from the New Deal started by FDR, which incidentally contributed to the persistence of two Americas. The following site gives a brief history of the switch and it explains why most blacks still vote Democratic today. It’s all about economics or class. As long as the Republican Party is the Party of the haves and have more, black people will continue to collectively vote for the Democratic Party, i.e., voting on the lesser of two evils.

Finally, I think Chicago can be considered the Capitol of progressive American thought. The number of successful actors, artists, politicians, media personalities that comes from Chicago is astounding.

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