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“It’s true that most blacks vote Democratic,” admits Carlyle, “but lots vote Republican too–they just won’t tell you ‘cause they know that a lynch mob will come burn down their house if they admit that.” While this sentiment may seem over the top, this line reveals an uncomfortable truth: over the course of the 20th century the term “black Republican” has come to seem like a contradiction.“Since President Franklin Roosevelt and the New Deal,” wrote the editors of the in 1976, “being black and Republican was about as compatible as being black and aspiring to leadership in the Ku Klux Klan.” Through Democratic liberal policies like the New Deal and later Lyndon B.

And I think the question is problematic in the first place.

The question assumes that all black people think alike, talk alike and vote alike. A lawyer for the Republican Party, Carlyle is living proof that not all black people vote alike–but it’s indisputable that Carlyle, along with a number of high profile black Republicans like former presidential hopeful Ben Carson, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is in the minority in the African American community.

Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute and the National Negro Business League, promoting black economic success and greater inclusion in American society was the goal, and the way to achieve those ends was through respectability, proper deportment (including a deference to authority) and strict adherence to an ethical, temperate and productive lifestyle. Du Bois repudiated Washington’s accommodationism and called for “persistent agitation [as] the way to liberty.” The majority of African Americans followed Du Bois’ lead, shifting to the political left through the decades that followed.

Washington in particular saw black economic advancement as a more secure path to greater social integration than the pursuit of political and legal rights for blacks, which was the hallmark of the Northern liberal agenda. But certain tenets of black conservative thought, such as a belief in hard work, self-reliance and personal responsibility, continued to hold appeal.

The fact of the dress being new, showed that poverty did not cause this incongruity.