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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

Media Advisory
Presidential Politics from an African-American Perspective

September 30, 2008
TO: Reporters, editors, producers covering the presidential election
FROM: Amy Lunday | 443-287-9960 | acl@jhu.edu
RE: Presidential politics from an African-American perspective

Reporters seeking an African-American viewpoint on the 2008 presidential election should consider working with Lester Spence, an assistant professor of political science at The Johns Hopkins University. His areas of expertise include black politics, racism in popular culture, public opinion, political behavior, and the legitimacy of the American courts in the wake of the 2000 presidential election. Spence enjoys working with the media, from his regular appearances on National Public Radio to serving as a source for news stories and offering his own commentary in print in a variety of outlets including the Washington Post, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch, Africana.com and Salon.com. Spence can offer a unique perspective as both an academic and an advocate devoted to social justice and helping everyday people understand the world around them.

Spence on race, voter turnout, and the presidential election:
"Much has been made of the role that white racial attitudes might play in the upcoming presidential election. But what should loom large in everyone's mind is the voting machinery. In 2004 in polling booths throughout the country, black and urban voters often had to wait hours to vote. If this 'racial voting gap' is large enough, it may have as much of an effect on the end result as white racial attitudes."

Spence on the bailout legislation:
"It has been estimated that Americans are paying $25 billion in college tuition yearly. Although the cost of the bailout is generating as much anxiety in Americans as the dynamics that led to it, this is an excellent opportunity to engage in a discussion about American political priorities."

More information about Spence's ongoing projects can be found at his Web site, blacksmythe.com/ . You can reach Spence at 410-948-2709.