To Prevent Election Meddling, Invest in Black Voters, Groups Say
Russian disinformation campaign seized on long history of suppressing black votes

A voter enters the polling station at the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham, Ala., to vote in the 2017 special election to fill Jeff Sessions' seat in the U.S. Senate. In the foreground is a historical marker noting a 1963 civil rights march to the courthouse to register African-American women as voters. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Political leaders seeking to prevent future meddling in American elections could take a lesson from the Russians: Invest in black voters.

That’s one takeaway from reports this week that Russian operatives disproportionately targeted African-Americans during the 2016 election, according to groups that seek to increase black participation and representation in American politics. 

Do Clinton, Democrats Have a ‘Cousin Pookie’ Problem?
Obama makes 11th-hour push to get African-Americans to the polls

President Barack Obama greets people as he attends a campaign rally in support of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at the University of Central Florida on Oct. 28. Obama has been asking African-Americans to get out and vote. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Call it the “Cousin Pookie” vote.

When President Barack Obama pleads with African-Americans to get to the polls, he often invokes a fictitious family couch-dweller who’s more inclined to watch football than ever cast a ballot. And evidence suggests “Pookie” isn’t very fired up this year, creating angst for Democrats up and down the ballot.

How a Museum Struggled to Overcome Years of Gridlock
Story behind newest Smithsonian museum echoes African-American struggle

The Museum of African American History and Culture, over a century in the making, opens to the public on Saturday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

There’s a long and convoluted creation story for most important civic institutions, but the tale behind the National Museum of African American History and Culture is in a category of its own.

This backstory is easy to read as a metaphor for the very narrative the newest part of the Smithsonian wants to tell, because the museum’s progress toward its triumphant opening has been set back so often by enervating experiences familiar to black Americans: Passive aggression, overt discrimination, willful ignorance, simple neglect, ethnocentrism, broken promises, financial shape-shifting and political pandering, to name a few.

Kamala Harris Aims to Make History in California, Again
State attorney general could be second ever African-American woman in Senate

Kamala Harris was the first woman, the first African-American and the first person of South-Asian descent to be elected attorney general in California. (Jason Merritt/Getty Images for Variety file photo)

Kamala Harris broke down barriers in California politics during a decades-long career in criminal justice. In 2016, she’s on track to do so again — this time on the national stage.  

A career that began in the Alameda County district attorney's office is now poised to take Harris — if things go right this November — to the United States Senate.  

Obama and Clinton Made History, No Matter How You Feel About Either One
It's worth pausing to acknowledge the symbolism

Barack Obama's presidency didn't shift the racial power balance in the U.S. and Hillary Clinton's candidacy won't result in women ruling the world. But symbols are important. (Jason Reed/Pool via CNP file photo)


Yes, I hear it. Barack Obama, with roots in Kansas and Kenya, Hawaii and Indonesia, was not really like most African Americans, so he didn't count. (This year, Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson, backed by Rupert Murdoch, claimed the authentic black “experience” for himself, dismissing Obama altogether.) And Hillary Clinton , as the wife of a former president, with a lengthy political resume and a reputation for bare-knuckled dealings, is not your average female candidate, whatever that means, so she doesn't count. (Young women who felt disconnected from her because “she’s a woman, big deal” were the go-to subject of endless think pieces this primary season.)  

'Institutional Racism' Holds Blacks Back, Biden Warns
VP says minorities 'lag way behind' whites in feeling the economic recovery

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said at a conference in Washington that African-Americans and Hispanics "lag way behind their white counterparts." (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

Racism remains an economic anchor that holds back African-Americans and other minority groups, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said Thursday.  

The still-sluggish economic recovery overseen by the Obama administration has benefited whites more than blacks and Hispanics, Biden told a National Urban League conference in Washington. And he said "institutional racism" is a big reason why.