Yes, There Are Women of Color in the DAR

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, United States, Women on 2021-08-21 03:16Z by Steven

Yes, There Are Women of Color in the DAR

Washingtonian
2021-04-07

Rosa Cartagena


Reisha Raney at the headquarters of the DAR’s Maryland chapter. Photograph by Lauren Bulbin

A Maryland researcher—and relative of Thomas Jefferson—is exploring their stories.

Reisha Raney had never listened to a podcast when she decided to start one last year. A mathematician who runs a systems-engineering company in Fort Washington, Raney has, as a side project, spent years researching women of color who have joined the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was drawn to this topic for one obvious reason: Raney herself is a Black member of the DAR.

To Raney, the backgrounds of people like her—which often involve disturbing relationships between enslavers and the enslaved—represent an important aspect of our past. So after a two-week crash course in podcasting, she launched Daughter Dialogues, which features her interviews with current DAR members. “I had no expectation to ever run into any of these other Black women” in the society, she says. “We were so scarce that I expected to be the only one in the room all the time.” In fact, that hasn’t been the case; she has so far found and interviewed 22 women of color. Still, that’s a tiny fraction of the DAR’s 180,000-plus membership. (The group doesn’t keep track of racial demographics.)…

Read the entire article here.

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How the Myth of Barack Obama Overtook the Man (and the Politician)

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Book/Video Reviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2021-08-18 23:27Z by Steven

How the Myth of Barack Obama Overtook the Man (and the Politician)

Hyperallergic
2021-08-15

Justine Smith
Montreal, Quebec


From Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union (2021), dir. Peter Kunhardt (image courtesy HBO)

A new HBO film introduces a level of nuance to its depiction of the president that’s been sorely lacking in most portrayals.

What is “home” in the American imagination? Politicians often cite this ideal. Will our “doors” be open or closed? What do our “neighbors” look like? In the introduction to The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff describes the home as “where we know and where we are known, where we love and are loved. Home is mastery, voice, relationship, and sanctuary: part freedom, part flourishing … part refuge, part prospect.” Barack Obama promised this image of home, preaching that the United States could pursue unity and love for all. His very presence as a Black man on the world stage signaled a cultural shift that made it seem, if only briefly, that a tide was turning and the US was ready to grapple with its racism. For many, he was a symbol of progress. To others, he was a conniving invader, a covert socialist/communist/terrorist, or even the antichrist. Both images leave his actual humanity behind. What happens when a person becomes a symbol?

The new HBO film Obama: In Pursuit of a More Perfect Union looks at his life and work with a level of nuance that’s rare for a mainstream documentary. Still, like most Obama movies, the focus remains firmly on his social and cultural impact rather than his policy. “People underestimate the value of symbols,” Ta-Nehisi Coates argues at one point. Undeniably, Obama himself catered to and was well aware of his symbolic importance. And most films about him, made by a sympathetic media — By the People, The Final Year, The Way I See It, etc. — cater to his image as a historic groundbreaker. Even the Michelle Obama biography Becoming portrays the former first family as beacons of hope in a dark time…

Read the entire article here.

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Obamas Respond To Daunte Wright Shooting With A Plea For Police Reform

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Social Justice, United States on 2021-04-19 17:00Z by Steven

Obamas Respond To Daunte Wright Shooting With A Plea For Police Reform

The Huffington Post
2021-04-13

Ryan Grenoble, National Reporter

“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the former president and first lady wrote.

Former President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday responded to the killing of 20-year-old Daunte Wright with a call to “reimagine policing” in America, noting with some incredulity that Wright’s needless death came as jurors heard arguments in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd barely 10 miles away.

“Our hearts are heavy over yet another shooting of a Black man, Daunte Wright, at the hands of police,” the two said in a written statement.

“The fact that this could happen even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country.”…

Read the entire article here.

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A Promised Land

Posted in Autobiography, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-11-18 02:56Z by Steven

A Promised Land

Crown (an imprint of Penguin Random House)
2020-11-17
768 Pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: 9781524763169
Ebook ISBN: 9781524763183
Audio Book ISBN: ISBN 9780525633716

Barack Obama, 44th president of the United States

A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making—from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

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Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States on 2020-02-14 16:06Z by Steven

Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America

University of Chicago Press
2019-10-25
140 pages
6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
Paperback ISBN: 9781789380507

Elwood David Watson, Professor of History, African American Studies, and Gender Studies
East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

The past decade has been one of the most racially turbulent periods in the modern era, as the complicated breakthrough of the Obama presidency gave way to the racially charged campaigning and eventual governing of Donald Trump. Keepin’ It Real presents a wide-ranging group of essays that take on key aspects of the current landscape surrounding racial issues in America, including the place of the Obamas, the rise of the alt-right and White nationalism, Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick and the backlash against his protests, Black Lives Matter, sexual politics in the black community, and much more.

America’s racial problems aren’t going away any time soon. Keepin’ It Real will serve as a marker of the arguments we’re having right now, and an argument for the changes we need to make to become the better nation we’ve long imagined ourselves to be.

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Trump loves to blame the black guy

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2020-01-09 20:48Z by Steven

Trump loves to blame the black guy

The Washington Post
2020-01-09

Jonathan Capehart, Opinion Writer

President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump speak before members of the media during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Nov. 10, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump speak before members of the media during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Nov. 10, 2016. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Anyone else tired of perpetually petulant President Trump blaming former president Barack Obama for, well, everything?

Boo-hoo, the air conditioning makes the White House too cold. Waaa, it’s unlawful for Turkey to buy U.S. fighter jets because it purchased missiles from Russia. Hmmph, Iran is restarting its nuclear program after I junked the international treaty Obama negotiated that put the whole thing on ice for at least 10 years.

On Wednesday, hours after some yapper on “Fox & Friends” said, “This moment right now is on Barack Obama, not Donald Trump,” the 45th president of the United States blamed the 44th. “The missiles fired last night at us and our allies were paid for with the funds made available by the last administration,” Trump mewled. “The very defective [Iran nuclear agreement] expires shortly anyway, and gives Iran a clear and quick path to nuclear breakout.” As my Post colleague Paul Waldman noted, “None of those things is true.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Neo-race Realities in the Obama Era

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States on 2019-09-26 01:00Z by Steven

Neo-race Realities in the Obama Era

SUNY Press
May 2019
174 pages
Hardcover ISBN13: 978-1-4384-7415-1

Edited by:

Heather E. Harris, Professor of Communication
Stevenson University, Stevenson, Maryland

Considers the impact of neo-racism during the Obama presidency.

Neo-race Realities in the Obama Era expands the discourse about Barack Obama’s two terms as president by reflecting upon the impact of neo-racism during his tenure. Continually in conversation with Étienne Balibar’s conceptualization of neo-racism as being racism without race, the contributors examine how identities become the target of neo-racist discriminatory practices and policies in the United States. Individual chapters explore how President Obama’s multiple and intersecting identities beyond the racial binaries of Black and White were perceived, as well as how his presence impacted certain marginalized groups in our society as a result of his administration’s policies. Evidencing the hegemonic complexity of neo-racism in the United States, the contributors illustrate how the mythic post-race society that many wished for on election night in 2008 was deferred, in order to return to the uncomfortable comfort zone of the way America used to be.

Table of Contents

  • List of Illustrations
  • Foreword / Amardo Rodríguez
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction / Heather E. Harris
  • Part I
    • 1. Obama’s Transformation of American Myths / Zoë Hess Carney
    • 2. Transformational Masculinity and Fathering in the Age of Obama: “Roses and Thorns” / Shanette M. Harris
    • 3. How Obama’s Hybridity Stifled Black Nationalist Rhetorical Identity: An Ideological Analysis on His Two-Term Third-Space Leadership / Omowale T. Elson
  • Part II
    • 4. “Who Gets to Say Hussein? The Impact of Anti-Muslim Sentiment during the Obama Era” / Nura A. Sediqe
    • 5. The End of AIDS? A Critical Analysis of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy / Andrew R. Spieldenner, Tomeka M. Robinson, and Anjuliet G. Woodruffe
    • 6. The President Was Black, Y’all: Presidential Humor, Neo-racism, and the Social Construction of Blackness and Whiteness / Jenny Ungbha Korn
    • 7. L’homme de la créolisation: Obama, Neo-racism, and Cultural and Territorial Creolization / Douglas-Wade Brunton
  • Notes
  • List of Contributors
  • Index
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The Obama Legacy

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-09-04 20:48Z by Steven

The Obama Legacy

University Press of Kansas
May 2019
320 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-7006-2790-5

Edited by:

Bert A. Rockman, Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

Andrew Rudalevige, Thomas Brackett Reed Professor of Government
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine

“Hope” and “change” were the keywords of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, and in his farewell address on January 10, 2017, he cited the evidence that he’d delivered—from reversing the Great Recession, rebooting the auto industry, and unleashing the longest stretch of job creation in the nation’s history to winning marriage equality and securing the right to health insurance for another 20 million citizens. At the same time, and with a view to the country’s divisive polarization, he made a plea for “the decency of our people” and “the sense of common purpose that we so badly need right now.”

In hindsight, it is increasingly possible to understand whether and how Obama’s legacy matched his rhetoric as well as to evaluate from various angles what his presidency accomplished and what this has meant for US politics, public policy, and civic life going forward. In The Obama Legacy some of the leading observers and scholars of US politics take up this challenge. In twelve essays these writers examine Obama’s choices, operating style, and opportunities taken and missed as well as the institutional and political constraints on the president’s policy agenda. What were Obama’s personal characteristics as a leader? What were the policy aspirations, output, and strategy of his presidency? What was his role as a political and public leader to the various constituencies needed to generate presidential power? And how did his presidency interact with other political forces?

Addressing these questions and others, the authors analyze Obama’s preferences, tactics, successes, and shortcomings with an eye toward balancing the personal and institutional factors that underlie each—all the while considering how resilient or fragile Obama’s legacy will be in the face of the Trump administration’s eager efforts to dismantle it.

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Los Angeles has renamed a street after former President Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-05-15 23:48Z by Steven

Los Angeles has renamed a street after former President Obama

Cable News Network (CNN)
2019-05-05

Saeed Ahmed, Senior Editor

(CNN) The City of Los Angeles has renamed a nearly 4-mile stretch of road from “Rodeo Road” to “Obama Boulevard,” in honor of the country’s first African-American president.

The location is significant, the city said, because Obama held his first campaign rally in Los Angeles on February 20, 2007, at Rancho Cienega Park. The park sits on Rodeo Road, right across from W. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

“For every child who will drive down this street and see the name of the first Black President of our country, this boulevard will serve as a physical reminder that no goal is out of reach and that no dream is too big,” tweeted City Council President Herb Wesson after the renaming Saturday.

Rodeo Road, which runs through a historic black neighborhood, is not the first strip to be named in honor of former presidents. The district where the road sits is also home to Washington Boulevard, Adams Boulevard and Jefferson Boulevard….

Read the entire article here.

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Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, symbols, and hope

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2019-03-05 13:14Z by Steven

Race and the Obama Administration: Substance, symbols, and hope

Manchester University Press
2019-03-01
256 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-5261-0501-1
eBook ISBN: 978-1-5261-0503-5
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-5261-0502-8

Andra Gillespie, Associate Professor of Political Science
Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia

  • Timely publication in the aftermath of the Obama leaving The White House. Obama’s handling of race and equality is expected to determine his legacy as President.
  • Compares the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations to determine if Obama’s performance on racial issues differed significantly from his immediate predecessors
  • Analyses Barack Obama’s performance on substantive and symbolic issues of importance to African Americans
  • Uses opinion polls of black voters to probe attitudes toward President Obama and explanations for his performance on racial issues
  • Encourages readers to consider the ways that institutional constraints on the presidency and candidates’ campaign choices limit the role of the president to address racial issues

The election of Barack Obama marked a critical point in American political and social history. Did the historic election of a black president actually change the status of blacks in the United States? Did these changes (or lack thereof) inform blacks’ perceptions of the President?

This book explores these questions by comparing Obama’s promotion of substantive and symbolic initiatives for blacks to efforts by the two previous presidential administrations. By employing a comparative analysis, the reader can judge whether Obama did more or less to promote black interests than his predecessors. Taking a more empirical approach to judging Barack Obama, this book hopes to contribute to current debates about the significance of the first African American presidency. It takes care to make distinctions between Obama’s substantive and symbolic accomplishments and to explore the significance of both.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: how’s he doing? And what does that say about black politics?
  • 1 The triple bind
  • Part I: Substance
    • 2 How he did: the racial successes, failures and impact of the Obama presidency
    • 3 Executive orders
    • 4 Winks, nods and day-to-day bureaucratic work: a case study of three cabinet departments
  • Part II: Symbols
    • 5 Race, appointments and descriptive diversity
    • 6 Rhetoric and racial eruptions
    • 7 Artistic representation and the presidency: an examination of PBS performances
    • 8 Michelle Obama
  • Part III: Hope
    • 9 Public opinion
    • 10 Race, Obama and the fourth quarter
    • Conclusion: was it worth it?
  • Index
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