New book examines Black Caucus in Louisiana

New book examines Black Caucus in Louisiana
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POSTED: Friday, September 30, 2011 - 12:36pm

UPDATED: Friday, September 30, 2011 - 12:37pm

In “The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus,” Jas M. Sullivan and Jonathan Winburn analyze the evolution of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, or LLBC, and raise critical questions as to the effectiveness and limitations of this body of minority legislators.

Since the creation of the LLBC in 1977, the number of black lawmakers in the Louisiana legislature has increased; however, as Sullivan and Winburn attest, many of the socioeconomic indicators show that the condition of their constituents has failed to improve.

In this comprehensive examination, Sullivan and Winburn ask why the LLBC, composed entirely of Democrats, had the lowest bill-passage rate among all the groups in the Legislature at the same time the Democratic Party held the majority. The inability of the LLBC to form coalitions across party lines, and even inside its own party, limits its effectiveness, the authors contend. Though LLBC members vote together more often than any other group in the Legislature, their bills rarely receive support from outside the caucus. The issues faced by the LLBC’s constituents often fail to garner enough support from white Democrats, a group more closely aligned with their Republican colleagues.

 Based on years of research and extensive interviews with caucus members, “The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus,” published in December 2011 by LSU Press, offers a deft analysis of minority representation in Louisiana that helps explain why, four decades after the LLBC was established, blacks continue to lag behind whites in key social and economic areas in the Pelican State.

For more information on “The Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus,” you can visit the LSU website here.

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