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Leniqueca Welcome: Black Men for Bernie

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Bernie Sanders Rally, Philadelphia

 

Photography, Text and Video by Leniqueca Welcome

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Black Men for Bernie

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At the Bernie Sanders Rally held on Wednesday, April 6th at the Liacouras Center, Temple University, Philadelphia, among the substantial turn-out— highly diverse in age, gender and ethnicity—there was a very vocal and highly visible group (due to their large RV) self-labeled “Black Men for Bernie.” The allegiance of people of color has been a very contentious issue this election especially with Donald Trump’s reputation of brazenly launching explicitly racist, sexist and xenophobic rhetoric on the political platform.

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Hilary Clinton vacillated her position with people of color, with an endorsement from Rosa Clemente one week and contentious relations between her and her husband and Black Lives Matter activist, as the effects of their political legacy on communities of color both domestic and foreign have been called into question, at another moment.

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Though the Clintons have historically held black political allegiance, Bernie Sanders’ “Political Revolution” has been growing in popularity with the black community and this was very much evident with the presence of “Black Men for Bernie.” The group advocates for a coalition between “strong black men” and Bernie as a road to salvation and progress for African Americans in contemporary US society.

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It is apparent from the group’s call to action on their official website that they see the black man as representative of the black family and the black community at large as they call for men to “…get every woman in your life to vote for Bernie on your behalf.”  They also advocate for self-policing, commanding an end to stereotypical behaviors associated with black bodies through racist ideologies such as the abandonment of children by black fathers and focusing on “making it rain.”

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Very much aligned with the ethos of the Bernie’s campaign the group makes it their mission to develop personal relationships with voters, canvasing on behalf of Bernie Sanders and disseminating information on his values and policies. Their goal also extends to showing how Bernie’s policies could be beneficial for not only black Americans but all communities of color.

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The influence of the “Black Men for Bernie” campaign on Bernie’s success is one to watch but we can’t help but question what about Black Women for Bernie or the Black LGBTQ population?  Where do Black Men for Bernie see these groups positioned in their efforts?

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Photography, Text and Video by Leniqueca Welcome, Copyright 2016

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About The Author: Leniqueca Welcome is a native of Trinidad and Tobago, has a degree in Architecture, and is currently enrolled in the graduate program of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. To read more articles by Leniqueca Welcome, go here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/leniqueca-welcome-je-suis-desolate/

This entry was posted in Blog, Current Events, Friends of TWS, Men, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women.

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