White House photographer’s book a powerful portrait of Obama’s presidency

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Book/Video Reviews, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-26 02:02Z by Steven

White House photographer’s book a powerful portrait of Obama’s presidency

The New Orleans Times-Picayune
2017-12-24

Sheila Stroup, The Times-Picayune


When 5-year-old Jacob Philadelphia wonders if his hair is like Barack Obama’s, the president offers him an opportunity to judge for himself. (Photo by Pete Souza, The White House)

I didn’t mean to read “Obama: An Intimate Portrait.” I was only going to look at a few of the pictures before I wrapped it up for Christmas. I’ve always felt it was cheating to read a book you’re giving as a gift.

I knew I wanted to give the book of photographs to our daughter Shannon and our grandchildren, Cilie and Devery, as soon as I heard Terry Gross interview Pete Souza, President Barack Obama’s Chief Official White House Photographer, on NPR’sFresh Air.” It sounded fascinating, and I wanted them to see that a person with skin the color of theirs could be president of our country.

Shannon adopted Cilie and Devery when they were babies. There was never any doubt they were hers, and nobody could love them more than she does.

Cilie is 8 now, and Devery is almost 6, and I know they must have questions about why their skin is a different color from their mom’s and their grandparents and their other relatives. I know they must get questions from other children.

I’ve never forgotten what happened one day when I took Devery to his swimming lesson a few years ago. There was a young dad there whose skin was the same beautiful tone as his, and he looked at Devery and said, “Oh, he’s going to get questions.”…

Read the entire review here.

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Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-25 20:57Z by Steven

Obama: An Intimate Portrait: The Historic Presidency in Photographs

Little, Brown and Company
2017-11-07
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780316512572

Pete Souza

Foreword by: Barack Obama

Relive the extraordinary Presidency of Barack Obama through White House photographer Pete Souza’s behind-the-scenes images and stories in this #1 New York Times bestseller–with a foreword from the President himself.

During Barack Obama’s two terms, Pete Souza was with the President during more crucial moments than anyone else–and he photographed them all. Souza captured nearly two million photographs of President Obama, in moments highly classified and disarmingly candid.

Obama: An Intimate Portrait reproduces more than 300 of Souza’s most iconic photographs with fine-art print quality in an oversize collectible format. Together they document the most consequential hours of the Presidency–including the historic image of President Obama and his advisors in the Situation Room during the bin Laden mission–alongside unguarded moments with the President’s family, his encounters with children, interactions with world leaders and cultural figures, and more.

Souza’s photographs, with the behind-the-scenes captions and stories that accompany them, communicate the pace and power of our nation’s highest office. They also reveal the spirit of the extraordinary man who became our President. We see President Obama lead our nation through monumental challenges, comfort us in calamity and loss, share in hard-won victories, and set a singular example to “be kind and be useful,” as he would instruct his daughters.

This book puts you in the White House with President Obama, and will be a treasured record of a landmark era in American history.

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Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers)

Posted in Arts, Barack Obama, Biography, Books, History, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-12-25 20:50Z by Steven

Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers)

Little, Brown and Company Young Readers (an imprint of Hachette Book Group)
2017-11-21
96 pages
Hardcover ISBN-13: 9780316514392
E-Book: ISBN-13: 9780316514118

Pete Souza

From former Chief Official White House Photographer Pete Souza comes a book for young readers that highlights Barack Obama’s historic presidency and the qualities and actions that make him so beloved.

Pete Souza served as Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama’s full two terms. He was with the President during more crucial moments than anyone else – and he photographed them all, capturing scenes both classified and candid. Throughout his historic presidency, Obama engaged with young people as often as he could, encouraging them to be their best and do their best and to always “dream big dreams.” In this timeless and timely keepsake volume that features over seventy-five full-color photographs, Souza shows the qualities of President Obama that make him both a great leader and an extraordinary man. With behind-the-scenes anecdotes of some iconic photos alongside photos with his family, colleagues, and other world leaders, Souza tells the story of a president who made history and still made time to engage with even the youngest citizens of the country he served. By the author of Obama: An Intimate Portrait, the definitive visual biography of Barack Obama’s presidency, Dream Big Dreams was created especially for young readers and not only provides a beautiful portrait of a president but shows the true spirit of the man.

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Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Census/Demographics, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-10-17 02:35Z by Steven

Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States

Oxford University Press
2017-09-27
280 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 9780190657468
Paperback ISBN: 9780190657475

Natalie Masuoka, Associate Professor of Political Scienc
Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts

  • Provides readers seeking to understand the history of American race relations with both historical methods and analyses of empirical data
  • Offers a new theory of thinking about race, the “identity choice” framework which is situated in the major debates on U.S. racial formation
  • Will be of interest to scholars of critical race theory and identity theory, in addition to multiracial individuals and others interested in US racial politics

While pundits point to multiracial Americans as new evidence of a harmonious ethnic melting pot, in reality mixed race peoples have long existed in the United States. Rather than characterize multiracial Americans as a “new” population, this book argues that instead we should view them as individuals who reflect a new culture of racial identification. Today, identities such as “biracial” or “swirlies” are evoked alongside those more established racial categories of white, black Asian and Latino. What is significant about multiracial identities is that they communicate an alternative viewpoint about race: that a person’s preferred self-identification should be used to define a person’s race. Yet this definition of race is a distinct contrast to historic norms which has defined race as a category assigned to a person based on certain social rules which emphasized things like phenotype, being “one-drop” of African blood or heritage.

In Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States, Natalie Masuoka catalogues how this cultural shift from assigning race to perceiving race as a product of personal identification came about by tracing events over the course of the twentieth century. Masuoka uses a variety of sources including in-depth interviews, public opinion surveys and census data to understand how certain individuals embrace the agency of self-identification and choose to assert multiracial identities. At the same time, the book shows that the meaning and consequences of multiracial identification can only be understood when contrasted against those who identify as white, black Asian or Latino. An included case study on President Barack Obama also shows how multiracial identity narratives can be strategically used to reduce anti-black bias among voters. Therefore, rather than looking at multiracial Americans as a harbinger of dramatic change for American race relations, this Multiracial Identity and Racial Politics in the United States shows that narratives promoting multiracial identities are in direct dialogue with, rather than in replacement of, the longstanding racial order.

Table of Contents

  • CHAPTER 1: Identity Choice: Changing Practices of Race and Multiracial Identification
  • CHAPTER 2: Exclusive Categories: Historical Formation of Racial Classification in the United States
  • CHAPTER 3: Advocating for Choice: Political Views of Multiracial Activists
  • CHAPTER 4: Declaring Race: Understanding Opportunities to Self-Identify as Multiracial
  • CHAPTER 5: Implications of Racial Identity: Comparing Monoracial and Multiracial Political Attitudes
  • CHAPTER 6: In the Eye of the Beholder: American Perceptions of Obama’s Race
  • CHAPTER 7: Multiracial and Beyond: Racial Formation in the 21st Century
  • References
  • Appendices
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We should have seen Trump coming

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-10-08 04:18Z by Steven

We should have seen Trump coming

The Guardian
2017-09-29

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Obama’s rise felt like a new chapter in American history. But the original sin of white supremacy was not so easily erased.

I have often wondered how I missed the coming tragedy. It is not so much that I should have predicted that Americans would elect Donald Trump. It’s just that I shouldn’t have put it past us. It was tough to keep track of the currents of politics and pageantry swirling at once. All my life I had seen myself, and my people, backed into a corner. Had I been wrong? Watching the crowds at county fairs cheer for Michelle Obama in 2008, or flipping through the enchanting photo spreads of the glamorous incoming administration, it was easy to believe that I had been.

And it was more than symbolic. Barack Obama’s victory meant not just a black president but also that Democrats, the party supported by most black people, enjoyed majorities in Congress. Prominent intellectuals were predicting that modern conservatism – a movement steeped in white resentment – was at its end and that a demographic wave of Asians, Latinos and blacks would sink the Republican party.

Back in the summer of 2008, as Obama closed out the primary and closed in on history, vendors in Harlem hawked T-shirts emblazoned with his face and posters placing him in the black Valhalla where Martin, Malcolm and Harriet were throned. It is hard to remember the excitement of that time, because I now know that the sense we had that summer, the sense that we were approaching an end-of-history moment, proved to be wrong.

It is not so much that I logically reasoned out that Obama’s election would author a post-racist age. But it now seemed possible that white supremacy, the scourge of American history, might well be banished in my lifetime. In those days I imagined racism as a tumour that could be isolated and removed from the body of America, not as a pervasive system both native and essential to that body. From that perspective, it seemed possible that the success of one man really could alter history, or even end it…

Read the entire article here.

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We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Posted in Barack Obama, Biography, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-10-07 21:49Z by Steven

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

One World (An imprint of PenguinRandomHouse)
2017-10-03
400 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4
Hardcover ISBN: ISBN 9780399590566
Paperback ISBN: 9780525624516
Ebook ISBN: 9780399590580

Ta-Nehisi Coates

In these “urgently relevant essays,”* the National Book Award–winning author of Between the World and Me “reflects on race, Barack Obama’s presidency and its jarring aftermath”*—including the election of Donald Trump.

“We were eight years in power” was the lament of Reconstruction-era black politicians as the American experiment in multiracial democracy ended with the return of white supremacist rule in the South. In this sweeping collection of new and selected essays, Ta-Nehisi Coates explores the tragic echoes of that history in our own time: the unprecedented election of a black president followed by a vicious backlash that fueled the election of the man Coates argues is America’s “first white president.”

But the story of these present-day eight years is not just about presidential politics. This book also examines the new voices, ideas, and movements for justice that emerged over this period—and the effects of the persistent, haunting shadow of our nation’s old and unreconciled history. Coates powerfully examines the events of the Obama era from his intimate and revealing perspective—the point of view of a young writer who begins the journey in an unemployment office in Harlem and ends it in the Oval Office, interviewing a president.

We Were Eight Years in Power features Coates’s iconic essays first published in The Atlantic, including “Fear of a Black President,” “The Case for Reparations,” and “The Black Family in the Age of Mass Incarceration,” along with eight fresh essays that revisit each year of the Obama administration through Coates’s own experiences, observations, and intellectual development, capped by a bracingly original assessment of the election that fully illuminated the tragedy of the Obama era. We Were Eight Years in Power is a vital account of modern America, from one of the definitive voices of this historic moment.

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The First White President

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-09-08 01:17Z by Steven

The First White President

The Atlantic
October 2017

Ta-Nehisi Coates


Jesse Draxler; Photo: David Hume Kennerly / Getty

The foundation of Donald Trump’s presidency is the negation of Barack Obama’s legacy.

It is insufficient to state the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness—that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.

His political career began in advocacy of birtherism, that modern recasting of the old American precept that black people are not fit to be citizens of the country they built. But long before birtherism, Trump had made his worldview clear. He fought to keep blacks out of his buildings, according to the U.S. government; called for the death penalty for the eventually exonerated Central Park Five; and railed against “lazy” black employees. “Black guys counting my money! I hate it,” Trump was once quoted as saying. “The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.” After his cabal of conspiracy theorists forced Barack Obama to present his birth certificate, Trump demanded the president’s college grades (offering $5 million in exchange for them), insisting that Obama was not intelligent enough to have gone to an Ivy League school, and that his acclaimed memoir, Dreams From My Father, had been ghostwritten by a white man, Bill Ayers

Read the entire article here.

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Barack Obama and the Nommo Tradition of Afrocentric Orality

Posted in Africa, Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2017-08-26 23:40Z by Steven

Barack Obama and the Nommo Tradition of Afrocentric Orality

JSTOR Daily: Where News Meets Its Scholarly Match
2017-08-23

Shannon Luders-Manuel


President Obama delivers the State of the Union in 2011
via Flickr/White House

Black actors, entertainers, and everyday citizens often have a particular cadence to their voices that others can identify as “black,” whether or not the listeners can see the individual speaking. Popular culture seems to think that black men sound wise simply by their voices alone, leading to black actors narrating myriad commercials, including Dennis Haysbert for Allstate Insurance and Samuel L. Jackson for Capital One. In an article for Guernica, John McWhorter breaks down this speech pattern: “It differs from standard English’s sound in the same way that other dialects do, in certain shadings of vowels, aspects of intonation, and also that elusive thing known as timbre, most familiar to singers—degrees of breathiness, grain, huskiness, ‘space.’”

While sound influences dialect, black oration goes back much further, to the idea of nommo, which is rooted in West African tradition. Through both dialect and nommo, former President Barack Obama was able to inspire black and white audiences, altering his word choice and patterns accordingly…

Scholarship of nommo is wanting. However, in the Journal of Black Studies, Sheena C. Howard defines it in the following manner: “Nommo, the creative power of the word, is a delivery style that is unique to African Americans. Nommo is manifested in characteristics of African orality.” She focuses on four characteristics of nommo: rhythm, call and response, mythication, and repetition, and she analyzes their use in two of Obama’s speeches: one at Howard University and the other at Southern New Hampshire University, both in 2007…

Read the entire article here.

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Dr. Zebulon Miletsky talks about the mixed race / mixed culture experience to BWTM

Posted in Barack Obama, History, Interviews, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2017-07-19 03:31Z by Steven

Dr. Zebulon Miletsky talks about the mixed race / mixed culture experience to BWTM

Bayloric Worldwide Television & Media
2017-07-18

Ingram Jones, Host

Dr Zebulon Miletsky assistant professor of Africana Studies at Stony University, New York talks to BWTM  about his experiences and shares a wealth of knowledge on the topic of race.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky teaches African-American History at Stony Brook University where he is an Assistant Professor in both the Departments of Africana Studies and History. He is the author of numerous articles, essays and most recently a book chapter that appeared in the anthology “Obama and the Biracial Factor: The Battle for a New American Majority” which traces the contested meanings throughout history of terminology for multiracial people and the role that this historical legacy of “naming” plays into how President Obama is read as African American, but still asserts a strategic biracial identity through the use of language, symbols, and interactions with the media. Miletsky who is half-Jewish (white) and African-American/Afro-Caribbean, received his Ph.D. in African-American Studies with a concentration in History at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 2008 . There, he was trained as a historian by some of the best thinkers in the field of Black Studies, many of whom are veterans from the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1960s and 70s. His research interests include: Racial passing; interracial marriage; African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements; and Mixed race history. Miletsky has given a Ted Talk and at Stony Brook University entitled “Tracing Your ‘Routes’” and has have been interviewed on Huffington Post Live, various radio shows including the WBAI NYC 99.5 FM Pacifica radio show “Behind the News-Long Island” and the “Multiracial Family Man” Podcast.

Watch the interview (01:26:47) here.

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SBU Libraries Black History Month Lecture 2-13-17 Dr. Zebulon Miletsky: “Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma”

Posted in Barack Obama, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, United States, Videos on 2017-07-10 01:57Z by Steven

SBU Libraries Black History Month Lecture 2-13-17 Dr. Zebulon Miletsky: “Obama, Post-Racialism and the New American Dilemma”

Stony Brook Library Media Services
2017-02-13 (Published 2017-02-15)

Zebulon Vance Miletsky, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York

The election of Barack Obama in 2008 as the 44th President of the United States, raised hopes for many that as a country we were entering a post-racial moment, that the twin legacies of oppression and slavery were overcome, not only in the United States, but the world. That same period, however, brought crises of authority caused by neo-liberalism, police violence, and mass incarceration that have consistently set back the very racial progress that Obama’s presidency seemed to inaugurate. Far from being post-racial, the Obama years were a period of constant racial crisis, the repercussions of which were felt daily since the killings of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson in the summer of 2014. It took the election of an African American to the nation’s highest office to uncover a level of racial hatred the likes of which we have not seen since the 1960s, requiring an analysis of the relationship between multiracialism and post-racialism, as well as how whiteness operates in the United States, to fully appreciate what has come to pass. The election of Donald Trump as President has been a clear rejection of the post-racial era ushered in by Obama. Much like our more recent experiment in racial democracy, there are parallels between what happened with the overthrow of Reconstruction, America’s startling experiment in biracial democracy after the Civil War and today. The historical roots of the “whitelash” that fueled Trump’s victory lie in a prior racial backlash to an unprecedented attempt to grant African Americans citizenship during the period of Reconstruction. Based on a book chapter-in-progress for a volume on the Black Intellectual Tradition in America, this presentation discusses how the 21st century could potentially mark a new low in American race relations—or a “new American dilemma”.

Dr. Zebulon Vance Miletsky is an Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and a historian specializing in recent African-American History, Civil Rights and Black Power, Urban History, Mixed Race and Biracial identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. His research interests include: African-Americans in Boston; Northern freedom movements outside of the South; Mixed race history in the U.S. and passing; and the Afro-Latin diaspora. He is the author of numerous articles, reviews, essays and book chapters and is currently working on a manuscript on the civil rights movement in Boston. Ph.D.; African-American Studies with a concentration in History, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2008.

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