Much has been written about black urban empowerment and about the candidates—particularly the winning candidates—who are the public face of such shifts in power. Authors invariably mention the important role played by black political organizations in electing black officials or organizing communities, but Micah W. Kubic goes further, making, for the first time, one such organization the focus of a book-length study. Kubic tells the story of black political empowerment in Kansas City through the prism of Freedom, Inc., the nation’s oldest existing black political organization.
Using interviews and observation of participants as well as archival research, Kubic offers historical and political analysis of Freedom, Inc. from its founding in 1962 through its role in municipal elections of 2007. Kubic asserts that strong local organizations are living, dynamic organisms and that they, rather than charismatic candidates or interracial alliances, are the crucial players in both determining political outcomes and advancing black interests in urban areas.