The Black Cabinet: Black Republicans, the Nixon Administration, and the Development of an Economic Civil Rights Movement

Leah M. Wright

This paper discusses Richard Nixon's "Black Cabinet" and the development of an economic civil rights movement, 1969-1972. The members of the Black Cabinet, a loosely assembled group of black Republican appointees, pushed an agenda directly aimed at the needs and aspirations of African Americans. They developed a specialized black outreach campaign, specifically using the Nixon administration as a vehicle for advancing an alternative civil rights movement, rooted in economic, employment, labor, and business policies. Ultimately, the Black Cabinet fashioned an agenda, promoted by the mainstream Republican Party, that championed economic uplift as the final, critical step in the struggle for racial equality and black independence.