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‘Stop Pretending Black Midwesterners Don’t Exist,’ Writes This Black Writer in The New York Times


In an opinion piece in The New York Times, writer Tamara Winfrey Harris makes the case that the word “Midwest” has become a euphemism for White America. Winfrey Harris counters that thinking by pointing out the vast number of black Midwesterners. Here is an excerpt from her piece:

… After the 2016 election, it was common to hear musings about how Midwestern voters flocked to Donald Trump because he spoke to the America they wanted to make “great”—a descriptor that many argued was code for “white.”…

Approximately seven million people who identify as African-American live in the Midwest. That means there are more black people in the Midwest than in the Northeast or the West. …

It is a bitter irony, then, that many of the arguments about Mr. Trump’s appeal to Midwesterners make sense only if you pretend black people don’t exist in the middle of the country.

Not only do millions of African Americans live in the Midwest, but many are building successful businesses. Michigan alone has over 20 of the nation’s largest black businesses. Detroit-based automotive supplier Bridgewater Interiors L.L.C., for example, is one of the few black companies to have surpassed $1 billion in revenue.

Read the full article at The New York Times.

 



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