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Black America Today Debate: Political Power
Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Hugh B. Price, National Urban League Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise Robert L. Woodson, Sr. National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise

When can we expect to see an African American elected president?

Robert Woodson's Response: We came very close in 1996, when Colin Powell clearly could have had either the Democratic or Republican nomination, and probably would have been elected president had he not declined to be nominated. I believe we can expect to see an African-American president when another individual emerges who runs not as an African-American but as one who addresses the needs of all Americans--as a president should.

Hugh Price's Response: Had Colin Powell opted to run, I have a hunch that an African American could have been elected president in 1996. When it'll happen is entirely contingent on the emergence of a national figure who has the requisite attributes - overweening ambition to win, centrist political philosophy, perception as a mainstream as opposed to "black" candidate, and abundant time served on the "rubber chicken" circuit. I don't see anyone on the horizon right now who meets those criteria. So it may take another generation.

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Debate Topics Menu
Affirmative Action
Diversity in Schools
Economic Future
Faith Based Initiatives
Knowing Each Other
Leadership Models
Media Stereotypes
Political Power
Race in the 21st Century
Slavery Reparations


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