The Huge Bloc of Nonvoting, Highly Educated African Americans

In the 2008 hotly contested presidential election in which a black man won the presidency of the United States, 10.5 million eligible adult African Americans decided not to vote. More than one third of all adult African Americans did not show up at the polls.

Of these 10.5 million nonvoting blacks, nearly 900,000 African Americans with a college diploma did not bother to vote. Another 405,000 African Americans with a graduate degree did not vote.

In an era in which the nation is split down the middle politically, a huge bloc of more than 1.3 million educated blacks who do not participate in the electoral process can have a determining impact on the outcome of any presidential election and on the future of American democracy. But if the presence of a black man on the ticket running for the nation’s highest office was not incentive enough to get these educated African Americans to the polls, it is difficult to imagine what other factor would encourage African Americans to assume a compelling role in the democratic process.