Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Paul Shankman

Second Advisor

Vilja Hulden

Third Advisor

Carla Jones


Black Republicans are a rarity in United States politics, as illustrated by the 2008 presidential election when 95 percent of black Americans voted for Barack Obama while only four percent of black Americans voted for John McCain. Despite their relative obscurity, black Republicans are nonetheless important and influential. However, the literature on black Republicans has been neither well informed nor satisfying, typically portraying black Republicans as adherents to a single strain of Republican thought. In response, this thesis aims to document the diverse array of thoughts, opinions, and experiences among black Republicans. Nineteen black Republicans from Colorado, Georgia, and Iowa were interviewed and asked questions concerning their political identity, their positions on policy issues, and their experiences. This thesis aims to broaden our understanding of black Republicans and to postulate future directions to the study of black Republicans.