How Black women engaged their communities during the election

November 17, 2020, 8:00 PM UTC

As election night wore on, with the Republican stronghold of Georgia too close to call, attention turned to understanding how the state’s political lean could have changed so much. Much of the credit for Georgia turning blue has since been attributed to Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams and her coalition of Black women-led organizations, including Fair FightThe New Georgia ProjectFair Count and ProGeorgia. Their years-long effort has focused on organizing previously disengaged Georgia voters - mostly young people and people of color - for Democratic candidates. 

YouGov’s Social Change Monitor tracks both attitudes toward inequality and civic engagement, providing insight into how the electorate might view the modern political process. While 49% of US adults overall say they believe every person has an equal chance to rise up and prosper, only one-third (32%) of Black women agree. However, while only 49% of Americans say that activism for social change is uniting their local communities, 70% of Black women report this to be true.  

Black women also believe in the value of women’s leadership, with around two-thirds saying that America would be better off with more women in corporate leadership positions (69%) or in positions of political power (65%), significantly more than average (48% and 44%, respectively).  

As Joe Biden won Georgia – alongside the first woman of color to become Vice President — civically engaged Black women led conversations with people in their communities about issues that impacted them. 

 Some additional key points around Black women and civic engagement during the election:  

●      Community engagement: Black women (30%) are 7 percentage points more likely than Black men to say they have had conversations with others about issues affecting their communities over the past five months 

●      Community engagement momentum: in June, 21% of Black women reported having had conversations with others about issues affecting their communities. This percentage increased significantly to 37% in October and November just before the election. 

●      BLM support: 76% of Black women report positive associations with the Black Lives Matter slogan, significantly more than any other group, including Black men (66% positive) 

●      Community engagement around BLM: 23% of Black women report having conversations with others in their community about Black Lives Matter, significantly more than Black men (16%) 

●      Lean Left: Black women (62%) are 1.8 times more likely to identify as Democrat than the average American (34%), but they are not more likely to call themselves liberal (28% vs 28%)  

The YouGov Social Change Monitor tracks consumer attitudes towards equality and fairness on several social movements, including gender equality.  For more information about the YouGov Social Change Monitor, contact social.change@yougov.com 

Image: Getty