Democratic debate will focus on issues affecting African Americans

NOW: Democratic debate will focus on issues affecting African Americans

HOUSTON -- Experts say Thursday night's Democratic debate at Texas Southern University will focus on issues affecting African Americans. The debate is being held at the largest historically black university in Texas.

Each candidate wants the support of black Americans and the black vote has been a common topic this election cycle.

Thursday night's debate will give candidates a chance to win the black vote.

But students at the university point out - not all black Americans are the same.

“It’s hard to put us in a constraint or put us in a box to say oh I have the black vote," a student said.

In June, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg introduced the Douglass plan. It's his pitch to give reparations to African Americans.

“For us to do better we all have to do better," said Chike Aguh, a policy advisor to Mayor Buttigieg.

According to the plan, the Buttigieg administration would cut in half the amount of people in federal prison, make a historic investment in black home ownership and try to triple the amount of black entrepreneurs.

Aguh says the Douglass plan is what the nation needs.

 “Making an investment in black America that is deserved and also happens to benefit the rest of America," Aguh said.

Critics say Mayor Buttigieg hasn't invested in the black community in his own city.

A 2017 report put together by the City of South Bend in partnership with Prosperity Now said there's a wealth divide in the city between black and white people.

In the most recent poll of South Carolina voters by Monmouth Polling Institute, many of the candidates taking the stage are way behind with black voters.

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the pack with more than half of the black vote.

Political expert Dr. Michael Adams says he expects this will change after Thursday night.

"There’s a reason why they’re here certainly this particular demographic it resonates. It plays," Dr. Adams said.

Mayor Buttigieg will be in South Carolina next week to host a couple town halls and drop in on the Democratic Black Caucus.

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