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 crucial data from the 2016 election

“A vital roadmap to a more hopeful, more inclusive America.” —Van Jones, founder of the Dream Corps, CNN contributor, and author of The Green Collar Economy and Rebuild the Dream

When it first appeared in the lead-up to the 2016 election, Brown Is the New White helped spark a national discussion of race and electoral politics and the often-misdirected spending priorities of the Democratic Party. This “slim yet jam-packed call to action” (Booklist) contained a “detailed, data-driven illustration of the rapidly increasing number of racial minorities in America” (NBC News) and their significance in shaping our political future.

Completely revised and updated to address the aftermath of the 2016 election, this first paperback edition of Brown Is the New White doubles down on its original insights. Attacking the “myth of the white swing voter” head-on, Steve Phillips, named one of “America’s Top 50 Influencers” by Campaigns & Elections, closely examines 2016 election results against a long backdrop of shifts in the electoral map over the past generation—arguing that, now more than ever, hope for a more progressive political future lies not with increased advertising to middle-of-the-road white voters, but with cultivating America’s growing, diverse majority.

Emerging as a respected and clear-headed commentator on American politics at a time of pessimism and confusion among Democrats, Phillips offers a stirring answer to anyone who thinks the immediate future holds nothing but Trump and Republican majorities.


“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
“A detailed, data-driven illustration of the rapidly increasing number of racial minorities in America.”
—NBC News
“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
“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 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
“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.

News and Reviews


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


The Brian Lehrer Show talks with Steve Phillips about the New American Majority

The Nation

Read an excerpt from Brown Is the New White


Steve Phillips writes on the role of cultural competence in progressive politics


Books by Steve Phillips

How We Win the Civil War
Securing a Multiracial Democracy and Ending White Supremacy for Good

Steve Phillips

Goodreads Reviews