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The Black Vote Continues To Wake

Months ago I wrote about what an Obama candidacy would do with the black vote in America. In the Democratic primaries so far it has grown. It is growing in Texas. And a vote that has been taken for granted so long is, I believe, going to make a difference this November.

Although Hispanics outnumber African-Americans in Texas by 3 to 1, more blacks than Hispanics may turn out to vote in the state's Democratic primary on March 4 because they're fired up about Barack Obama.

The emergence of Illinois Sen. Obama as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination has generated more excitement among African-American voters than leading black Texas Democrats have ever seen. And if, as they suspect, black voters turn out in greater numbers than do the Hispanics whom Hillary Clinton's counting on, her hopes for victory could be crushed.

"This year, it is a force of nature that doesn't appear to need a whole lot of help from people like me," said Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor who in 2002 became the first African-American in Texas to win a major-party nomination for the U.S. Senate. "The black vote is going to turn itself out."

Fired up. Ready to go.