Obama: An Oral History

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-08-13 23:44Z by Steven

Obama: An Oral History

Little A (An Imprint of Amazon Publishing)
2018-07-10
506 pages
6 x 1 x 9 inches
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1503951662
Paperback ISBN: 978-1503951655

Brian Abrams

The first ever comprehensive oral history of President Obama’s administration and the complex political machine that created and powered a landmark American presidency.

In this candid oral history of a presidential tenure, author Brian Abrams reveals the behind-the-scenes stories that illuminate the eight years of the Obama White House through more than one hundred exclusive interviews. Among those given a voice in this extraordinary account are Obama’s cabinet secretaries; his teams of speechwriters, legal advisers, and campaign strategists; as well as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fought for or against his agenda. They recall the early struggles of an idealistic outsider candidate and speak openly about the exacting work that led to cornerstone legislation. They share the failures and dissent that met Obama’s efforts and revisit the paths to his accomplishments. As eyewitnesses to history, their accounts combine to deliver an unfiltered view of Obama’s battle to deliver on his promise of hope and change.

This provocative collage of anecdotes, personal reminiscences, and impressions from confidants and critics not only provides an authoritative window into the events that defined an era but also offers the first published account into the making of the forty-fourth president of the United States—one that history will soon not forget.

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Hope Never Dies

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Novels, United States on 2018-08-11 18:19Z by Steven

Hope Never Dies

Quirk Books
2018-07-10
304 pages
Paperback ISBN: 9781683690399
e-Book ISBN: 9781683690405

Andrew Shaffer

Cover for Hope Never Dies

Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama team up in this high-stakes thriller that combines a mystery worthy of Watson and Holmes with the laugh-out-loud bromantic chemistry of Lethal Weapon’s Murtaugh and Riggs.

Vice President Joe Biden is fresh out of the Obama White House and feeling adrift when his favorite railroad conductor dies in a suspicious accident, leaving behind an ailing wife and a trail of clues. To unravel the mystery, “Amtrak Joe” re-teams with the only man he’s ever fully trusted: the 44th president of the United States. Together they’ll plumb the darkest corners of Delaware, traveling from cheap motels to biker bars and beyond, as they uncover the sinister forces advancing America’s opioid epidemic.

Part noir thriller and part bromance, Hope Never Dies is essentially the first published work of Obama/Biden fiction—and a cathartic read for anyone distressed by the current state of affairs.

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Examining whites’ anti-black attitudes after Obama’s presidency

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-07-18 18:35Z by Steven

Examining whites’ anti-black attitudes after Obama’s presidency

Politics, Groups, and Identities
Published online: 2018-03-05
DOI: 10.1080/21565503.2018.1438953

Nicole Yadon, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Political Science
University of Michigan

Spencer Piston, Assistant Professor of Political Science
Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts

We develop and test competing theoretical expectations about the level and effects of white prejudice against blacks in the aftermath of America’s first black presidency. Using both cross-sectional and panel survey datasets of nationally representative samples of Americans, we find little evidence that any of the following declined during Obama’s presidency: white opposition to black leaders, white opposition to policies intended to benefit blacks, white prejudice against blacks, or the impact of prejudice on white vote choice. Furthermore, the impact of prejudice on policy opinion appears to have increased over this time period, even beyond existing findings indicating a spillover of racialization. These findings suggest that Obama’s rise to power increased whites’ perception that blacks threaten their dominant position in the United States.

Read or purchase the article here.

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Why Barack is black and Megan is biracial

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United Kingdom, United States on 2018-07-01 20:07Z by Steven

Why Barack is black and Megan is biracial

Media Diversified
2018-06-28

Olivia Woldemikael, Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science
Harvard University

Olivia Woldemikael discusses the differences in how Megan Markle and Barack Obama present themselves racially and asks what it means for blackness as an identity

The exclusivity and purity of the racial categories, black and white, is a myth, and a destructive one. Yet, it is continuously perpetuated in national discourse and family conversations. As the personalities of celebrities and politicians continue to be venerated in America, the racial identity of public figures such as Barack Obama and Meghan Markle are important sites for changing our ideas about race.

It’s no surprise to me that Barack Obama was considered America’s first black president and Meghan Markle is considered the biracial princess of England. The two are similarly “light-skinned” in racial parlance. Yet, the manner in which each of them has constructed signifiers of their race explains the difference in public perception. While perception alone does not diminish either’s proximity to whiteness and privilege, which may help explain their success. It does, however, draw attention to the way individuals are able to exercise agency in determining their racial identity, undermining the monolithic American racial ideology. The divergent public personas that Obama and Markle have cultivated demonstrate the fragility of racial categories and hierarchies, as well as highlight the need for a paradigmatic shift in the way we discuss and represent race in the media…

Read the entire article here.

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The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-04-06 02:48Z by Steven

The Presidency of Barack Obama: A First Historical Assessment

Princeton University Press
2018-03-13
360 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780691160283
Paperback ISBN: 9780691182100
E-book ISBN: 9781400889556

Edited by:

Julian E. Zelizer, Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs
Princeton University

An original and engaging account of the Obama years from a group of leading political historians

Barack Obama’s election as the first African American president seemed to usher in a new era, and he took office in 2009 with great expectations. But by his second term, Republicans controlled Congress, and, after the 2016 presidential election, Obama’s legacy and the health of the Democratic Party itself appeared in doubt. In The Presidency of Barack Obama, Julian Zelizer gathers leading American historians to put President Obama and his administration into political and historical context.

These writers offer strikingly original assessments of the big issues that shaped the Obama years, including the conservative backlash, race, the financial crisis, health care, crime, drugs, counterterrorism, Iraq and Afghanistan, the environment, immigration, education, gay rights, and urban policy. Together, these essays suggest that Obama’s central paradox is that, despite effective policymaking, he failed to receive credit for his many achievements and wasn’t a party builder. Provocatively, they ask why Obama didn’t unite Democrats and progressive activists to fight the conservative counter-tide as it grew stronger.

Engaging and deeply informed, The Presidency of Barack Obama is a must-read for anyone who wants to better understand Obama and the uncertain aftermath of his presidency.

Contributors include Sarah Coleman, Jacob Dlamini, Gary Gerstle, Risa Goluboff, Meg Jacobs, Peniel Joseph, Michael Kazin, Matthew Lassiter, Kathryn Olmsted, Eric Rauchway, Richard Schragger, Paul Starr, Timothy Stewart-Winter, Thomas Sugrue, Jeremi Suri, Julian Zelizer, and Jonathan Zimmerman.

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It’s Not Always Black And White: Biracial Narratives In TV

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Communications/Media Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2018-03-19 02:19Z by Steven

It’s Not Always Black And White: Biracial Narratives In TV

Odyssey
2017-05-16

Jasmine Ramón
Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts


Cover Image Credit: Vulture

It is refreshing to see more and more shows and movies are depicting biracial narratives.

We usually talk about race as if it’s merely black people and white people. Often the critique is, what about if you’re neither? A question asked much less often is: “Well, what if you’re both?” Up until recently, there was little to be said about being biracial or mixed race in TV and movies. But there is so much complexity there as well.

There is a subtle moment in “Dear White People” when biracial main character Sam White changes her music to hip hop as she strolls past a group of black girls on campus. There is an equally subtle moment when Jerrod Carmichael’s biracial girlfriend Amber asks him if the classic Biggy song he is listening to is a new song on “The Carmichael Show.” These moments might be missed entirely, or merely chuckled at, but they are slight nods to what it means to constantly be bargaining one’s identity.

Both shows are largely about blackness, and the experience of black people. But they also both seem to suggest the remnants of the ‘one-drop rule,’ where any bit of blackness largely means acceptance into the black community, and exclusion from the white community. Of course, there are layers to this. At one point, Sam’s friend Joelle makes a comment likening Sam to a “Tracie Ellis Ross” (left in image below) rather than a “Rashida Jones.” (right)…

Read the entire article here.

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Are you racially fluid?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Caribbean/Latin America, Media Archive, Passing, Politics/Public Policy, Social Justice, Social Science, United States, Videos on 2018-03-03 02:33Z by Steven

Are you racially fluid?

Cable News Network (CNN)
2018-03-02

Story by John Blake, CNN
Video by Tawanda Scott Sambou, CNN

The blurring of racial lines won’t save America. Why ‘racial fluidity’ is a con

(CNN) He was a snappy dresser with slicked back hair and a pencil mustache. A crack bandleader, musician and legendary talent scout, he was dubbed the “Godfather of R&B.”

But Johnny Otis’ greatest performance was an audacious act of defiance he orchestrated offstage.

Most people who saw Otis perform during his heyday in the 1950s thought he was a light-skinned black man. He used “we” when talking about black people, married his black high school sweetheart and stayed in substandard “for colored only” hotels with his black bandmates when they toured the South.

Johnny Otis, though, wasn’t his real name. He was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes to Greek immigrants in Northern California. He grew up in a black neighborhood where he developed such a kinship with black culture that he walked away from his whiteness and became black by choice.

“As a kid I decided that if our society dictated that one had to be black or white, I would be black,” he wrote in his 1968 book, “Listen to the Lambs.”

“No number of objections such as ‘You were born white … you can never be black’ on the part of the whites, or ‘You sure are a fool to be colored when you could be white’ from Negroes, can alter the fact that I cannot think of myself as white.

“I do not expect everybody to understand it, but it is a fact. I am black environmentally, psychologically, culturally, emotionally, and intellectually.”…

…What if racial fluidity leads not to less racism, but to more?

That’s the warning being issued by many who study racial fluidity — including some who are racially fluid themselves. They say people are naïve if they believe expanding the menu of racial choices will lead to more tolerance; that racism is deeper and more adaptable than people realize.

A brown-skinned man with a white mother can gush all he wants about his DNA mix, but that won’t stop him from being racially profiled, says Rainier Spencer, a professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, who has written extensively about mixed-race identity, including his own.

“If I stand on a corner holding a sign saying, ‘I’m racially fluid,'” says Spencer, “that still doesn’t mean I’m going to get a cab.”…

Read the entire article here.

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Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2018-02-12 19:38Z by Steven

Paintings Of Barack And Michelle Obama Unveiled At Portrait Gallery

National Public Radio
2018-02-12

Camila Domonoske


Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama stand next to their newly unveiled portraits during a ceremony Monday at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense greens.

“Pretty sharp,” Obama said with a grin.

Amy Sherald, a Baltimore-based artist, painted Michelle Obama sitting in a floor-length gown, chin on her hand, looking directly at the viewer with a calm, level gaze.

The paintings, like the presidency they honor, are a historic first. Wiley and Sherald — both already famous for their portraits of black Americans — are the first black painters to receive a presidential portrait commission from the museum…

Read the entire article here.

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Barack Obama [Recent Acquisition of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery]

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States on 2018-02-11 17:28Z by Steven

Barack Obama [Recent Acquisition of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery]

National Portrait Gallery
Washington, D.C.

Title: Obama “HOPE” Portrait
Artist: Shepard Fairey, born 1970
Copy After: Mannie Garcia, born 1953
Sitter: Barack Hussein Obama, born 4 Aug 1961
Date: 2008
Type: Collage
Medium: Hand-finished collage, stencil, and acrylic on heavy paper
Dimensions: Sheet: 176.7 x 117.5 cm (69 9/16 x 46 1/4″)
Frame: 187.3 x 127 x 5.1 cm (73 3/4 x 50 x 2″)
Credit Line: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection in honor of Mary K. Podesta
Rights: ©Shepard Fairey/ObeyGiant.com
Object number: NPG.2008.52
Culture: Barack Hussein Obama: American\African American
Exhibition Label: Forty-fourth president
Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama Hope poster became the iconic campaign image for the first African American president of the United States. Early in 2008, the Los Angeles–based graphic designer and street artist designed his first Obama portraits, with a stenciled face, visionary upward glance, and inspiring captions. The artist’s intention that the image be widely reproduced and “go viral” on the Internet exceeded his greatest expectations. Campaign supporters and grassroots organizations disseminated tens of thousands of T-shirts, posters, and small stickers; Fairey himself produced mural-sized versions; and a free, downloadable graphic generated countless more repetitions. In this fine-art version of that unprecedented and powerful campaign icon, Fairey incorporated the familiar heroic pose and patriotic color scheme. But he translated the portrait into a collage with a rich, elegant surface of decorative papers and old newsprint.
Data Source: National Portrait Gallery

For more information, click here.

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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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