First Survey of Black American Young Adults

In September of 2019, the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University, led by the political science department, hosted surveys and focus groups during the week that a democratic presidential debate was held on campus. The results were instructive, providing insight into the priorities of the students who took part in the surveys and focus groups. These students were hopeful for their futures and the future of the United States, but suffered traumatic disappointment from the state of race, the justice system and the grossly disparate family incomes.

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The college-age generational cohort is coming of age during a crucial time in our nation. Politically, young adults (age 18-34) appear to lean more toward progressive politics than prior generations but their voter turnout has been reported at lower levels than the generations before them. This will be the next generation in charge of our world and it is increasingly important to consider their viewpoints, as looking at their trends may help determine the nation’s political trajectory. There are over 75 million millennials in America, making up almost a quarter of the total U.S. population and 30% of the voting age population. Racially, Millennials are about 56% white and 30% are classified as Hispanic, Asian and bi- or multi-racial; 14% of millennials identify as Black/African-American. This is a large subsection of our nation and our future leaders, yet we know little about them as a group.

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