this beliefnet article does a decent job highlighting some of the major points where african americans diverge from white liberals.
African AMericans are the only group who wanted Bush to use MORE religious rhetoric.
Two-thirds of blacks said churches "should express their views" about politics--about the same percentage as white evangelicals
An idea usually viewed with abhorrence from people here, but given the legacy of abolitionism and civil rights movts, makes blacks much less hostile to the integrating of church and politics--indeed, they see it as CENTRAL to their politics.
61 percent said they wanted more religious leaders advising the candidates. Asked the same question, only 19 percent of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics agreed.
African AMericans are still overwhelmingly Democrats because some folks are still warm and fuzzy from the 60s civil rights and on the questions of economic justice, health care, and the war. but make no mistake that the fundamental divide on cultural/religious issues between white liberal activists who comprise the Dem party and black voters is going to be exploited for all it's worth by a very saavy GOP that understands this, and a Democratic party with activists who for the most part are oblivious about it (or who love to write "ABortion is about autonomy" diaries).
given the issues of criminal justice, the drug war, unemployment, poverty, etc, folks of color usually don't have the luxury to obsess over gays or abortions the way the white evangelicals like to, so addressing their issues and speaking to their main concerns should hold politicians in good stead. we can agree to disagree on religion, abortion or homosexuality with our white activist secular liberal brethren while training our eyes on our common enemy: the fanatical power-hungry war-mongering corporate GOP.
oh, and the article makes the silly assertion that Lieberman had the most "natural" appeal to African Americans because of his overt religiousity. the authors of the article are white Christians, so i think they miss the distinct nuance of black theology, which is the REAL belief in GRACE. unlike some white evangelicals, black folks really do practice and exemplify grace in action (you have to be to live in a country which brought you over on slave ships...). this is why black folks were the MOST supportive of Clinton during impeachment and prayed for him--we understood his failings, his flaws and forgave him. on this issue, there was a fundamental divide between white evangleicals, Clinton's harshest detractors, and black evangelicals. Lieberman-like judgmental sermonizing on CLinton's immorality rubs us the wrong way. also, lieberman's capitulation during the FLorida debacle in 2000 and his refusal to ever ONCE mention the disenfranchisement of black voters still burns in the hearts of many. so no way in hell was Lieberman gonna win over many black voters. understanding these type of theological nuances is key to maintaining our coalition.