Only 8 percent of black American voters cast a ballot for President Donald Trump in 2016. Small as that number is, it actually represented an improvement from the 6 percent who voted for Mitt Romney against former President Barack Obama in 2012.
Black Americans are, by and large, assumed to be Democrats. A black Republican in any given context is likely to feel like an extreme minority, and even to be accused of being a sellout or an "Uncle Tom" for his or her conservative stances.
Daniel Grimes, a journalism graduate student at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, attended CPAC and sought to highlight some black conservatives, and get their takes on why they identify as conservative, and why they are not Democrats like many of their peers.
"Because I started paying attention to history," explained Maj Toure, the founder of Black Guns Matter. "I started understanding that the concepts of freedom, liberty, things of that nature, are more kind of right-leaning a little bit, or maybe a lotta bit."
CPAC attendee Bevelyn Beatty also cited historical awareness as a significant factor that led her toward conservatism.
"So once I started to do the history and understand the foundation of Republicanism I was like, oh, wait a minute, And I'm actually a conservative," Beatty told Grimes. "I come from an urban community, and you know what, a lot of us are really conservative and don't know it."
Kory Boone, the chairman of the Maryland Young Republicans, speculated on why he believed so many black people buy into Democratic ideology without a second thought about the merits of conservatism or the Republican Party.
"A lot of skepticism, and a lot of people believe what they're hearing in the media about racism, suppressing minorities, a lot of fake news," Boone said.
Watch the full video from Grimes here, first posted on the Medill News Service website: