LeBron James, Barack Obama partner for conversation on Black voter turnout

Biba Adams
·3 min read

James and Obama sat for a chat as part of More Than a Vote, which registered thousands of voters and workers.

Former President Barack Obama and NBA icon LeBron James are teaming up to increase voter turnout of African Americans ahead of this pivotal election.

Obama sat down for an interview with James as part of the Los Angeles Lakers superstar’s More Than a Vote initiative, which has helped register tens of thousands of voters and poll workers.

LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and former President Barack Obama sat down for an interview as part of James’ <br>“More Than a Vote” initiative, which has helped register tens of thousands of voters and poll workers. <br>(Photos by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images and Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and former President Barack Obama sat down for an interview as part of James’
“More Than a Vote” initiative, which has helped register tens of thousands of voters and poll workers.
(Photos by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images and Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)

The interview has yet to be released, however, the New York Times is reporting that the conversation is set to target the Black male vote, like many of Obama’s recent efforts.

While speaking in Philadelphia this week, the beloved former president appealed directly to Black men.

Read More: Philadelphia police fatally shoot Walter Wallace, 27; protesters take to the streets

“What I’ve consistently tried to communicate this year, particularly when I’m talking to young brothers, who may be cynical of what can happen, is to acknowledge to them that government and voting alone is not going to change everything,” Obama said. “But we did make things better.”

During the 2020 election cycle, analysts have noted that both Democrats and Republicans are pushing to engage Black male voters. Polls show that 24 percent of Black men approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing running the country, compared with just 6 percent of Black women.

Read More: Arizona man arrested after telling Black men ‘this is a no n—- zone’

A previous article from TheGrio notes that “Trump support is especially high among younger Black men who believe Democrats take them for granted and are unable to improve race relations. Black men report feeling overlooked by society except when viewed as a threat. A similar gender gap exists among white Republican voters and suggests Republican positions are generally more attractive to men.”

ShopTalk, an initiative from the Joe Biden campaign, has been engaging young Black men with virtual conversations featuring journalists and celebrities such as Jermaine Dupri. 

In an interview with The New York Times, James said that he believes that the Black community has been “pushed away from our civic duty” as a result of misinformation.

Read More: LeBron James, CNN to partner on Tulsa race massacre documentary

“And I’m in a position where I can educate people and, through More Than a Vote, educate people on how important this movement is and how important their civic duty is,” James said. “Not only to empower themselves but to give back to their community as well.”

He told the paper he is embracing the role as a social leader.

“I’ve grown to know who I am and what I stand for,” said James. “And it’s not just about me, it’s about my people. That’s why I’m leading the charge.”

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