Ohio University Press Podcast with Omar Ali

Join Zoë Bossiere as she interviews Dr. Omar Ali on the second edition of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States. The 20-minute interview for the Ohio University Press Podcast aired in June, 2020.

As Zoë describes, the book “provides a history of how Black Americans have shaped political movements independent of the Democratic and Republican parties.”

If you’d like to jump right into the full conversation, you can listen below:

Here are a couple of highlights from their conversation:

African Americans have always had to insert themselves into the balance of power…creating and building movements that could expand democracy.”

Zoë asked Dr. Ali why so little has been written about independent and Black politics. He comments:

The framework of American history has been around parties and ideology, and political scientists continue to teach it that way. There’s a bias towards looking at things that are not party driven, and third parties are considered sort of marginal…all kinds of major important changes in American history have come about by the outsiders. And so, third parties and independent candidates have played a very important role in shaping American society.”

In speaking about the new edition, Dr. Ali comments:

The major parties have done a disservice by pitting people against each other around ideology, around race, around class, and I think that both major parties are no longer vehicles for Americans to fully give expression to their desires. And so, the book highlights the current moment we are in…We have a lot to reckon with in American history and we need to figure out new ways of moving forward, and I think independence and nonpartisanship is the way forward.”

The book “provides an opportunity to revisit American history in a different way than its mostly been presented…The struggles of African Americans are in some ways inspiration for all people to push for what’s right and seek change that benefits all people.”

Pick up a copy of In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third-Party Movements in the United States and read along with Politics for the People!


Politics for the People Zoom Event
With Author Omar H. Ali
Sunday, February 21st
7pm ET
Click here to RSVP!


Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: