Black conservatism is a political and social philosophy rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the conservative ideology around the world. Since the Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968), the African American community has often identified politically with liberals. Black conservatives, then, are rare. They often emphasizes traditionalism, patriotism, self-sufficiency, free market capitalism, and strong cultural and social conservatism within the context of the black church. In the United States it is often, but not exclusively, associated with the Republican Party. Melissa Harris-Lacewell (now Melissa Harris-Perry) defines black conservatism as "advocating the idea that African Americans must be entirely self-sufficient, and demanding no official recognition of or redress for any historical or contemporary inequalities stemming from racial discrimination."
The Great Depression, and the subsequent Reconstruction era, began the greatest shift of conservative African Americans in American politics in modern history. During the Reconstruction era, black voters began to align themselves more with the Republican party and its conservative ideologies. Under Roosevelt"s administration, during his first two terms, there was not a single piece of civil rights legislation that was made into law and in the following election the black vote became more split. In 1964, the Kennedy-Johnson campaign promoted civil rights as a central issue and during their administration, they passed anti-discrimination legislation, gaining the black vote. Since then, the Democratic Party has held a majority of the black votes in America.
Black conservatism is highly criticized for seemingly being an oxymoron. Russian anarchist Pyotr Kropotkin brought many questions of the possibility of being Black and being conservative when he mocked their ability to be genuine. He explained his belief that conservatism has underlying themes of racism so black conservatives are "a freak of nature" and those who