Brown Is the New White

How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority

The New York Times and Washington Post bestseller that sparked a national conversation about America’s new progressive, multiracial majority, updated to include data from the 2016 election

“A must-read for anyone seeking to make change happen, from small towns to the halls of Congress to the White House.” —John Podesta, former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and former counselor to President Barack Obama

Despite the abundant evidence from Obama’s victories proving that the U.S. population has fundamentally changed, many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars chasing white swing voters. Explosive population growth of people of color in America over the past fifty years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23 percent of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28 percent of all eligible voters). These two groups make up 51 percent of all eligible voters in America right now, and that majority is growing larger every day. Failing to properly appreciate this reality, progressives are at risk of missing this moment in history—and losing.

A leader in national politics for thirty years, Steve Phillips has had a front-row seat to these extraordinary political changes. A civil rights lawyer and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Phillips draws on his extensive political experience to unveil exactly how people of color and progressive whites add up to a new majority, and what this means for U.S. politics and policy. Updated to include data from the 2016 election, Brown Is the New White exposes how far behind the curve Democrats are in investing in communities of color—while illuminating a path forward to seize the opportunity created by the demographic revolution.


“A detailed, data-driven illustration of the rapidly increasing number of racial minorities in America.”
—NBC News
“Steve Phillips has a deep understanding of how the civil rights movement changed America. His book sparks an important conversation about what increasing racial and cultural diversity will mean for American politics and policy.”
—Senator Cory Booker
“In this compelling new book, Steve Phillips lays out the plain facts regarding why progressives must act now to turn America’s changing demographics into a political majority that could lead our nation for decades to come.”
—Congressman Mark Takano
“Steve Phillips understands, honors, and illuminates how the transformational work of Dr. King fundamentally changed the composition of the country such that justice-making is possible now more than ever. Decades after Nixon’s cynical political calculation, the time is ripe for a new Southern strategy. This book helps point the way.”
—Reverend Raphael Warnock, senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Steve Phillips is not only an author writing about the potential of a ‘New American Majority.’ He is one of its gifted architects, an innovator with deep roots in electoral politics and a passion for connecting people of every race and background in common purpose. His energetic book, Brown Is the New White, is both a fascinating exploration of today’s rapidly changing demographic landscape and an opportunity to see the future through the eyes of one of America’s most engaging public servants and progressive political minds.”
—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University
“A slim yet jam-packed call to action.”
“A compelling argument for prioritizing people of color in campaign design.”
Publishers Weekly
“A wake-up call showing that conservatives are actively courting Latino voters, knowing they must expand their tent. Progressives had better heed this call and invest in a broader, more ambitious strategy to solidify the support of the Obama coalition.”
—Maria Echaveste, former White House deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton
“Steve Phillips has been far ahead of the curve in understanding not only where America is but what America will be. Both the analysis and vision that runs through this book should be required reading for all policy makers and political leaders committed to ensuring our country works for all of us.”
—Neera Tanden, president, Center for American Progress
“Steve Phillips has provided a vital roadmap to a more hopeful, more inclusive America. Let’s pay attention to this important book as we gear up, in 2016, to use our votes to make real change.”
—Van Jones, founder of the Dream Corps, CNN contributor, and author of The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream
“It’s good news that, by some ways of figuring, America already has a progressive, multiracial majority. Now we all need to get to work mobilizing ourselves so that actual political power reflects that new math—this volume is a big help!”
—Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of Hope, Human and Wild

News and Reviews

The New York Times

Steve Phillips writes about the "demographic revolution" that has occurred in the U.S. over the past fifty years in The New York Times


Steve Phillips joins Morning Joe to discuss the black vote


Steve Phillips weighs in on the Democratic primary on the Melissa Harris-Perry Show