Young Black Voters Made History in the 2020 Election Cycle

From Michigan to Georgia, Black voters powered Democrats to control of the White House and Congress

SAN FRANCISCO — NextGen America is celebrating Black History Month in 2021 by honoring young Black voters’ crucial role in protecting American democracy — and by calling for elected leaders to deliver on racial justice issues.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris owe their victory largely to young Black voters. According to the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University, 87% of 18-to-29 year-old Black voters supported the Biden-Harris ticket, including 90% of young Black women. 

CIRCLE polling shows that the COVID-19 pandemic and police violence were top areas of concern motivating Black youth to vote, demonstrating the urgency Democrats must take in addressing such issues. NextGen America is further calling upon the Biden administration to immediately cancel at least $50,000 of student loan debt per person, an executive action that would particularly benefit Black Americans, who bear a disproportionate debt burden. The organization is also pushing for legislation to protect and strengthen youth voting rights. 

“We are living history, and young Black voters are at the forefront of it,” said NextGen America National Political Manager Justin Atkins. “Of course, thanking Black voters for our courage is one thing, but now our elected officials must demonstrate political courage by taking action on police violence, the student debt crisis, and voting rights.” 

Leading up to the general election, NextGen America reached out to 1.9 million Black 18-to-35 year-olds through direct contact, mail, and digital advertising. The organization spent $5 million on digital advertisements specifically targeting young Black voters. For the Senate runoffs in Georgia, NextGen America ran a program that focused heavily on young Black voters, making over one million phone calls and sending over one million text messages. 

About NextGen America

NextGen America is a multiracial coalition of young people, organized to take power by winning elections for progressive candidates. NextGen is uniquely suited to help millennials and Gen Z’ers seize power as an experienced yet nimble political organization that leads with authenticity and grit. Since 2013, NextGen America has registered over 1.4 million voters and contacted millions of young people with messages encouraging them to vote.