Nation: Wooing the Black Vote

To survive, Republicans figure they need a 15% share

"Black people need the Republican Party to compete for us so that we have real alternatives ... The Republican Party needs black people if it is ever to compete for national office."

That claim of mutual interest was made last week before 155 members of the Republican National Committee, all but four of them white, at Washington's Mayflower Hotel. The speaker was no party functionary but the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Chicago's flamboyant preacher of black activism. Jackson is a far cry from the usual G.O.P. orator, but...

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