What is Black Capitol?


Years ago as I began to sketch out my dissertation I decided to title my pending thesis “Black Capitol”. For me, the meaning of “Black Capitol” derives from my time as a congressional intern where I began to see the U.S. Capitol not only as the site of federal legislative power, but also as a center of a new Black politics that evolved from the social movements of the 1960s to an institutionalized Black political class of African American legislators and political professionals.  As I saw it then and now, my intellectual goal was/is to illuminate the facets of this Black political community, highlighting their power in American politics and the continued barriers they face. As I have begun to share my research both inside and outside of the academy, “Black Capitol” has evolved to also represent my opinions and perspectives on American politics that I regularly share on social media and in my writing.  From my perspective, I do not just study Black politics or the moments when race is at the forefront of U.S. political discourse, my intellectual agenda is guided more fundamentally by examining how race organizes the American political system. As a professional and public sociologist, I will use this site to share insights from my research and speak more broadly about the intersections of race and U.S. politics.