In the next part of my series on the history between the Republican Party and black Americans, I focus on President Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency and President Eisenhower’s approach to civil rights and the black community. During this period, African Americans began giving the Democratic Party a chance mostly due to the impact of the Lily-White movement and the fact that the GOP did not bother putting forward a viable alternative to Roosevelt’s New Deal.
It was during this period that, despite the influence of the South on the Democrats, the party began courting black votes. However, contrary to popular belief, this is not when the black exodus occurred. But it was an important historical milestone.
Truman continued much of what Roosevelt had been doing up until his death. But when Eisenhower won the 1952 election, it was an opportunity for the Republican Party to regain trust with the black community – and while he didn’t make much of an effort during this race, he took a different approach during his 1956 campaign, which yielded surprising results.
In the video, I explain how the situation unfolded and what Eisenhower did to almost double his black support. This will take us next to the Goldwater era and the presidency of Richard Nixon. Stay tuned!