Politics & Government

How Sarah Palin Excluded African Americans in Alaska

Evidence that Sarah Palin avoided hiring minority staffers and shut out black business owners from Alaska's oil board
Gwen Alexander, president of the African-American Historical Society of Alaska | Credit: MAX BLUMENTHAL/THE DAILY BEAST

On April 29, 2008, 14 leaders of Alaska's black community met with Gov. Sarah Palin to voice discontent with her minority hiring record. Palin's response, which was first reported by journalist Earl Ofari Hutchinson, only compounded her icy relationship with her African-American constituents.

  • Our partner

Gwen Alexander, the president of the African-American Historical Society of Alaska, told me that Palin stated defiantly that she had no intention to hire any minority staffers. And according to Bishop Dave Thomas, senior pastor of Anchorage-based African-American church Jesus Holy Temple, the Palin administration excluded black business owners from the Alaskan oil and gas pipeline board. “We wasn't even able or allowed to go into the meetings” to seek contracts for the pipeline, Thomas told me.

Palin further alienated Alaska's black community by becoming the first Alaskan governor in recent memory to not recognize the Juneteenth celebration of the emancipation proclamation. “She doesn't hire any black people, she doesn't have any on her staff, so it's not a surprise that she doesn't support our Juneteenth celebration,” Alexander said.

These revelations and many more are contained in my latest video.

Research support for Max Blumenthal's reporting from Alaska was provided by the Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.

About the reporter

Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author.


We bring hidden stories to light. Don’t miss the next one! Get our free newsletter now.