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Politics Politics: How The Black Church Has Shaped American Politics

Republicans in Georgia’s House of Representatives passed a package of voting laws Monday that includes limiting Sunday voting to one Sunday during the state’s three weeks of early voting. If the measure becomes law, it could limit “souls to the polls” initiatives that encourage Black Americans to vote in conjunction with church attendance. About 30 percent of Georgia voters are Black, but in 2020 they made up about 37 percent of Sunday votes, according to data from Fair Fight Action, a group founded by former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

This installment of the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast explores the role that the Black church plays in American politics, through initiatives like “souls to the polls” and beyond. Joining the podcast are Andra Gillespie, political science professor at Emory University; Besheer Mohamed, senior researcher at Pew Research Center; and Stacey Holman, the producer and director of PBS’s recent documentary series “The Black Church.”

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.