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Black Southerners are wielding political power that was denied their parents and grandparents

January 10, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 16.2%. 2 min read.

The Democrats' stunning victories in Georgia were partly the result of generations of African Americans moving to Atlanta and the Deep South -- reversing their ancestors' northward migration patterns and changing the electorate.

Burton thought of all the Black people like her who migrated from elsewhere to Georgia to reclaim political power that was taken away from their parents and grandparents, who fled the Jim Crow South in fear.

More than a million Black people have moved to Georgia and other Southern states in the last 30 years.

Barber, 57, says the Democratic victories in Georgia can spread throughout the South if candidates are not afraid to run on an unabashedly progressive platform, as Warnock and Ossoff did, that champions the working class.

It's a return to what he calls "fusion politics" -- a late 19th-century movement that saw Blacks and progressive Whites change politics throughout the South.

"A superficial political analysis will say that the Black vote elected Warnock and Ossoff, but a serious political analysis will say that Black, White and Latino voters elected them," Barber says.

Any serious political analysis of the Democrats' victories in Georgia must also examine Atlanta's mythical hold on Black America.

In 2019, 43% of eligible Black voters in Georgia were born outside of the state, according to the Pew Research Center.

In the Atlanta metro area, 76% of eligible Black voters were born outside of Georgia.

But across the South, Black political power outside of Georgia is still uneven.

For many Black people in Georgia, part of the thrill of this week's victories is that they are finally seeing the political winds bend in their direction.

Warnock is the first Black man ever elected to the Senate from Georgia.

During the same week that Black voters in Georgia delivered the Senate to Democrats, the Republican-controlled Georgia legislature proposed laws that would make it harder to vote.

But Burton says Black voters in Georgia won't turn back now.

As more Black Americans return to cities like Atlanta, they will continue to reshape politics in the South.

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