Proverbs 31:9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
In January 2014, I will present my original research on the role of the non-metropolitan black church in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections at the Southern Political Science Association’s Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Research has shown that the majority of black Americans (61%) agree that churches should “open their mouths” and express their opinions on social and political matters, though a majority of them (58%) reject the notion that their churches should go so far as to actually endorse a particular candidate (Sahgal and Smith, 2009).
As recently as the early 1970s, black residents of sleepy Commerce, Texas, lived, quite literally, in “The Hole.” “The Hole” was the name given to the historically segregated section of the city, and was established in the late 19th century to provide housing for blacks who staffed the local university. Residents of “The Hole” established schools, churches, restaurants, shops, and other business to provide services that Jim Crow segregation meant were unavailable on the other side of town. However, though they were legally part of the city of Commerce, they remained without paved streets or access to city sewage systems, bereft of police or ambulance coverage, and lacking in adequate electric, telephone and postal services. Even after what is now Texas A&M University-Commerce desegregated in 1964, the blacks who worked on campus returned nightly to their segregated community on the wrong side of the tracks.
I think I’ve completed the basics of my thesis. I still need to work on the introductory chapter, and the vita, but the body of my thesis is completed in its entirety. Not bad, considering I started writing it in October.