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Political rivals launch initiatives for National Black Voter Day
Trump, Biden and NAACP kick off outreach
Published Friday, September 18, 2020 10:00 am
by Herbert L. White | The Charlotte Post

The presidential campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump, as well as the NAACP, launched initiatives Friday to reach out to Black voters as part of National Black Voter Day.

National Black Voter Day is drawing attention from presidential campaigns and civil rights advocates looking to gin up support.

Democratic contender Joe Biden’s campaign is launching the “Turn Up and Turn out the Vote Virtual Bus Tour” with the Congressional Black Caucus PAC. The tour will travel to battleground states including North Carolina through Oct. 1 with CBC members to highlight what’s at stake for Black voters.

The tour launched Friday with a virtual voter registration and early vote rally in North Carolina with Senator Kamala Harris and Black North Carolinians, including Myja Gary, a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University, who introduced Harris. U.S. Reps. Alma Adams and G.K. Butterfield, as well as Grammy Award-winning R&B singer and Charlotte native Anthony Hamilton participate in the bus tour launch, which will make stops in battleground states to focus on the urgency of upcoming voter registration and vote-by-mail deadlines.

On Tuesday, the Biden campaign held a virtual event kicking off HBCU Welcome Week with Adams and state Rep. Terry Garrison joining students from A&T and North Carolina Central University to discuss the importance of Black college students and young African Americans at the ballot box.

President Donald Trump’s campaign is targeting Black voters with 15 Black Voices for Trump events across the country, including Greensboro, as part of the #ReclaimYourVote campaign to encourage Blacks to switch their affiliation to the GOP.

“The Republican National Committee is proudly embracing National Black Voter Day because we know President Trump has a winning record of achievement for the Black community and has done far more to empower, uplift, and inspire the Black community in four years than Joe Biden has in 47,” said Paris Dennard, the RNC’s senior communications advisor for Black media affairs. “#ReclaimYourVote from do nothing Democrats who take our vote for granted and refuse to campaign for it.”

The non-partisan NAACP rolled out the Power of 5 community outreach, a five-day initiative that extends to National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 22. The program runs across 15 cities in 13 states and Washington, D.C. with NAACP volunteers distributing literature on voting in public areas such as shopping centers and neighborhoods that have high concentrations of Black residents as well as information on voter registration, key dates and the census deadline. The civil rights group is also launching a volunteer program for the Black Voices Change Lives campaign.

“With just seven weeks away from what will be a historic election, getting the word out to the Black community and mobilizing voters has never been more important or necessary,” said NAACP President Derrick Johnson. “The Power of 5 program aims to inform, engage and empower Black voters and make sure they have the tools and resources they need to make their voices heard at the ballot – because quite simply, our lives depend on it.”

Democrats and Republicans are each using Black media to reach voters. The Democratic National Committee is launching a print ad campaign slamming Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in five African American-owned community newspapers, including The Post.

“Donald Trump didn’t tell Americans the truth about the coronavirus, he’s been totally incompetent and ineffective in responding to this crisis, and now working families — especially Black Americans — are paying the price,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said. “Over the last four years, communities of color have borne the brunt of Trump’s broken promises, and now because of his failures the coronavirus is costing too many Black families their lives and livelihoods.”

Trump rolled out ads on urban radio earlier this month to engage Black voters with a message of economic growth, criminal justice reform and funding for HBCUs.

“These radio ads are another example of the continued investment President Trump’s campaign is making to engage directly with the Black community,” Dennard said. “The RNC and the campaign will continue working together to connect with Black voters in a variety of ways.”


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