Historic Shift in Louisiana Politics: New Black Majority District Marks a New Era
By Darius Spearman (africanelements)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana – In a groundbreaking move, the Louisiana Senate passed a bill to establish a second majority-Black voting district (NewsOne). This decision aligns with the state’s demographic, where Black voters represent a third of the population. The new map, currently under House debate, transforms the district represented by U.S. Rep. Garret Graves into a majority-Black area, increasing the Black voting-age population from 23% to 54%.
“Unfortunately, we must pass this map before us instead of giving the pen to a heavy-handed, Obama-appointed judge who seeks to enforce her will upon us,” stated Sen. Jeremy Stine, R-Lake Charles (Louisiana Illuminator).
The bipartisan support for the bill reflects a commitment to rectify the state’s long-standing racial disparities in political representation. However, the move has generated mixed reactions among conservatives, some of whom voted for the bill reluctantly.
In a similar development last October, Alabama also gained a second majority-Black voting district following a federal court’s approval (Democracy Docket). These shifts signal an increasing awareness and action against racial imbalances in congressional representation across the United States.
“We have exhausted all legal remedies,” Gov. Jeff Landry told legislators. “Take the pen out of the hand of a non-elected judge” (WWNO).
The new congressional map stretches over 200 miles from Caddo Parish to East Baton Rouge Parish, marking a significant change in Louisiana’s political landscape. This initiative is part of a court-ordered redistricting effort to address racial inequities and improve fair representation in Congress.
As the proposal now heads to the Louisiana House for further consideration, it represents a crucial step towards ensuring equitable political representation in the state. This change is a pivotal moment in Louisiana’s history, reflecting a broader national movement towards fairer representation in government.
About the author:
Darius Spearman is a professor of Black Studies at San Diego City College, where he has been pursuing his love of teaching since 2007. He is the author of several books, including Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890. You can visit Darius online at africanelements.org