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  • Print publication year: 2013
  • Online publication date: June 2014

E - African American Descriptive Representation in the United States


This appendix presents data on the descriptive representation of African Americans in the United States. This data is used in the United States case study in Chapter 7, as well as in Chapter 8. Specifically, Figure E.1 displays the proportion of African American major party state and federal representatives for all states, not just the states selected for display in Figure 7.4.

As noted in the main text, this data was collected from a variety of primary and secondary sources. At the federal level, my starting point was the list of African American legislators in CQ (2010), which I cross-checked and supplemented for recent years with information from other sources such as the House's “Black Americans in Congress” website ( The total number of House seats allocated to each state is from the Official Congressional Directory (U.S. Congress 1887–2008).

At the state level, primary sources include publications of the state legislatures themselves, such as class photos, membership rosters, and data compilations, such as North Carolina General Assembly (n.d.); publications of other state agencies, such as Texas State Library and Archives Commission (2002); and publications of state legislative black caucuses, such as Maryland Legislative Black Caucus and General Assembly (2010). Secondary sources include the various publications of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, such as the National Roster of Black Elected Officials (Joint Center for Political Studies 1970–1982), supplemented for partisanship by the Council of State Government's State Elective Officials and the Legislatures (Council of State Governments 1969–1993); National Conference of State Legislatures (n.d.); scholarly studies, such as those of Brown (1998) and Menifield and Shaffer (2005); various newspapers; and more.