Barack Obama, the President of Black America?

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-06-26 01:56Z by Steven

Barack Obama, the President of Black America?

The New York Times
2016-06-24

Michael Eric Dyson, Professor of Sociology
Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

What the haters and the hagiographers get wrong.

It was a crucial speech, high-stakes even for a man used to giving important speeches: The first black president of the United States had to acknowledge, and then bind up, the nation’s racial wounds. A year ago, after the massacre of nine souls at prayer at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church, Barack Obama traveled to Charleston, S.C., to eulogize its pastor, the Rev. Clementa Pinckney.

When Mr. Obama stood in the pulpit, I saw him as thrust into a peculiar position: He nobly assumed a symbolic, though not individual, guilt for the hate that had been visited on Charleston, largely because the white killer appeared to despise black progress, and there was no clearer representation of that progress than President Obama.

The president had a lot to do in that eulogy. He had to give comfort to a grieving family and congregation. He also had to make amends for seven years of public gestures of tough love toward black folks.

To do that, the president brilliantly evoked grace as an antidote to hate and preached in a black style to forge healing and redemption. He ended with a stirring rendition of “Amazing Grace.” As the call and response of the black church came full circle, Mr. Obama was at his best when he was at his blackest. It was a rare display of unapologetic race pride.

We are now approaching the last months of the Obama era. He will be remembered as a great, but flawed, president, and many of those flaws have to do with how he has addressed race — or avoided doing so…

Read the entire article here.

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Words of Obama’s Father Still Waiting to Be Read by His Son

Posted in Africa, Articles, Barack Obama, Biography, Media Archive, United States on 2016-06-19 00:16Z by Steven

Words of Obama’s Father Still Waiting to Be Read by His Son

The New York Times
2016-06-18

Rachel L. Swarns


Family portraits, including one of President Barack Obama’s father, center, hang in his family’s house in Kogelo, western Kenya, in 2008. Credit Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Letters written long ago by Barack Obama Sr. shed new light on a young Kenyan whose ambitions helped change the course of U.S. history. But for the president, they may also revive old pain.

The archivist stumbled across the file in a stack of boxes on the second floor of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. The yellowing letters inside dated back more than half a century, chronicling the dreams and struggles of a young man in Kenya.

He was ambitious and impetuous, a 22-year-old clerk who could type 75 words a minute and translate English into Swahili. But he had no money for college. So he pounded away on a typewriter in Nairobi, pleading for financial aid from universities and foundations across the Atlantic.

His letters would help change the course of American history.

“It has been my long cherished ambition to further my studies in America,” he wrote in 1958. His name was Barack Hussein Obama, and his dispatches helped unleash a stream of scholarship money that carried him from Kenya to the United States. There, he fathered the child who would become the nation’s first black president, only to vanish from his son’s life a few years after his birth…

Read the entire article here.

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Inside The Five-Day Stretch When Obama Found His Voice On Race

Posted in Articles, Audio, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy on 2016-06-13 18:03Z by Steven

Inside The Five-Day Stretch When Obama Found His Voice On Race

FiveThirtyEight
2016-05-26

The number of Americans “greatly worried” about race relations hit an all-time low, 13 percent, the year after President Obama took office. Last month, Gallup recorded the opposite, an all-time high of 35 percent.

As Obama prepares to leave office, the conversation about his legacy will no doubt include his role in how Americans see race. In the latest in FiveThirtyEight’s podcast documentary series on key election moments, we go back to the first time in Obama’s presidential career that he addressed the country’s debate over race in a big way…

…Who you’ll hear from in the podcast

  • Obama’s Team
    • David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist at the time
    • Jon Favreau, Obama’s speechwriter at the time
    • Valerie Jarrett, longtime adviser to the president
    • Marty Nesbitt, one of Obama’s closest friends
  • Media Members
    • Brian Ross of ABC News, whose reporting set off the firestorm
    • Conservative commentator Tucker Carlson
    • Clips of Joe Scarborough, Diane Sawyer, Chris Cuomo, Chris Matthews, Katie Couric, Sean Hannity and Karl Rove
  • Analysts
    • FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten
    • The Nation’s Kai Wright

Listen to the podcast here. Download the podcast here.

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“Slow Jam the News” with President Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, United States, Videos on 2016-06-10 14:14Z by Steven

“Slow Jam the News” with President Obama

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
NBC
2016-09-06

Jimmy Fallon and President Obama slow jam the news, discussing Obama’s legacy, accomplishments and thoughts on the 2016 election.

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Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-07 14:44Z by Steven

Black Man, White House: An Oral History of the Obama Administration

William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins)
2016-06-07
352 pages
Hardcover ISBN: 9780062399793
Ebook ISBN: 9780062399816
6 in (w) x 9 in (h) x 1.09 in (d)

D. L. Hughley

From legendary comedian D.L. Hughley comes a bitingly funny send-up of the Obama years, as “told” by the key political players on both sides of the aisle.

What do the Clintons, Republicans, fellow Democrats, and Obama’s own family really think of President Barack Obama? Finally, the truth is revealed in this raucously funny “oral history” parody.

There is no more astute—and hilarious—critic of politics, entertainment, and race in America than D. L. Hughley, famed comedian, radio star, and original member of the “Kings of Comedy.” In the vein of Jon Stewart’s America: The Book, Black Man, White House is an acerbic and witty take on Obama’s two terms, looking at the president’s accomplishments and foibles through the imagined eyes of those who saw history unfold.

Hughley draws upon satirical interviews with the most notorious public figures of our day: Mitt Romney (“What’s ‘poverty’? Is that some sort of rap jargon?”); Nancy Pelosi (“I play F**k/Marry/Kill, and there’s a lot more kills than fu**ks in Congress, believe me.”); Rod Blagojevich (“You can’t sell political offices on eBay; I discovered that personally.”); Joe Biden (“I like wrestling.”); and other politicians, media pundits, and buffoons. It is sure to be the most irreverent—and perhaps the most honest—look at American politics today.

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Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-03 02:18Z by Steven

Post-Racial or Most-Racial? Race and Politics in the Obama Era

University of Chicago Press
April 2016
272 pages
3 halftones, 55 line drawings, 11 tables
6 x 9
Paper ISBN: 9780226353012
Cloth ISBN: 9780226352961
E-book ISBN: 9780226353159

Michael Tesler, Assistant Professor of Political Science
University of California, Irvine

When Barack Obama won the presidency, many posited that we were entering into a post-racial period in American politics. Regrettably, the reality hasn’t lived up to that expectation. Instead, Americans’ political beliefs have become significantly more polarized by racial considerations than they had been before Obama’s presidency—in spite of his administration’s considerable efforts to neutralize the political impact of race.

Michael Tesler shows how, in the years that followed the 2008 election—a presidential election more polarized by racial attitudes than any other in modern times—racial considerations have come increasingly to influence many aspects of political decision making. These range from people’s evaluations of prominent politicians and the parties to issues seemingly unrelated to race like assessments of public policy or objective economic conditions. Some people even displayed more positive feelings toward Obama’s dog, Bo, when they were told he belonged to Ted Kennedy. More broadly, Tesler argues that the rapidly intensifying influence of race in American politics is driving the polarizing partisan divide and the vitriolic atmosphere that has come to characterize American politics.

One of the most important books on American racial politics in recent years, Post-Racial or Most-Racial? is required reading for anyone wishing to understand what has happened in the United States during Obama’s presidency and how it might shape the country long after he leaves office.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction: Obama as Most-Racial
  • Chapter 1. Racial Attitudes and American Politics in the Age of Obama
  • Chapter 2. The Spillover of Racialization Hypothesis
  • Chapter 3. The Obama Presidency, Racial Attitudes, and the 2012 Election
  • Chapter 4. Racial Attitudes and Evaluations of Public Figures in the Obama Era
  • Chapter 5. The Spillover of Racialization into Public Policy Preferences
  • Chapter 6. Racial Attitudes and Voting for Congress in the Obama Era
  • Chapter 7. The Growing Racialization of Partisan Attachments
  • Chapter 8. The Expanding Political Divide between White and Nonwhite Americans
  • Chapter 9. Conclusion: Racial Politics in the Obama and Post-Obama Eras
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
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The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Forthcoming Media, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-03 02:17Z by Steven

The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Political Uses of Race

New York University Press
July 2016
224 pages
Cloth ISBN: 9781479853717
Paper ISBN: 9781479819256

Melanye T. Price, Assistant Professor of Africana Studies and Political Science
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey—New Brunswick

Nearly a week after George Zimmerman was found not guilty of killing Trayvon Martin, President Obama walked into the press briefing room and shocked observers by saying that “Trayvon could have been me.” He talked personally and poignantly about his experiences and pointed to intra-racial violence as equally serious and precarious for black boys. He offered no sweeping policy changes or legislative agendas; he saw them as futile. Instead, he suggested that prejudice would be eliminated through collective efforts to help black males and for everyone to reflect on their own prejudices.

Obama’s presidency provides a unique opportunity to engage in a discussion about race and politics. In The Race Whisperer, Melanye Price analyzes the manner in which Barack Obama uses race strategically to engage with and win the loyalty of potential supporters. This book uses examples from Obama’s campaigns and presidency to demonstrate his ability to authentically tap into notions of blackness and whiteness to appeal to particular constituencies. By tailoring his unorthodox personal narrative to emphasize those parts of it that most resonate with a specific racial group, he targets his message effectively to that audience, shoring up electoral and governing support. The book also considers the impact of Obama’s use of race on the ongoing quest for black political empowerment. Unfortunately, racial advocacy for African Americans has been made more difficult because of the intense scrutiny of Obama’s relationship with the black community, Obama’s unwillingness to be more publicly vocal in light of that scrutiny, and the black community’s reluctance to use traditional protest and advocacy methods on a black president. Ultimately, though, The Race Whisperer argues for a more complex reading of race in the age of Obama, breaking new ground in the study of race and politics, public opinion, and political campaigns.

Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • 1. Barack Obama and Black Blame: Authenticity, Audience and Audaciousness
  • 2. Barack Obama, Patton’s Army, and Patriotic Whiteness
  • 3. Barack Obama’s More Perfect Union
  • 4. An Officer and Two Gentlemen: The Great Beer Summit of 2009
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index
  • About the Author
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Pete Souza: photographing the real Barack Obama

Posted in Articles, Arts, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-06-01 00:03Z by Steven

Pete Souza: photographing the real Barack Obama

The Guardian
2016-05-29

Jonathan Jones


President Barack Obama fist-bumps custodian Lawrence Lipscomb in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. Photograph: Pete Souza/The White House

Over two historic terms, official White House photographer Pete Souza has chronicled the most intimate, candid and comical moments of Barack Obama’s presidency

It was a tale of two Americas. In Las Vegas the casinos were humming with a hell-yes tide that was about to sweep the manic Donald Trump to his most pumped-up victory yet. In Washington DC, civilisation still existed. In the week Trump’s xenophobic bid to be the Republican presidential candidate began to look unstoppable, the man whose Americanness he has questioned was meeting 106-year-old Virginia McLaurin. In Pete Souza’s official White House photograph of their get-together, President Barack Obama cracks a delicious smile as the first lady dances with McLaurin, who was invited to visit the White House in recognition of community work she has done for decades in the US capital. The meeting was also a celebration of Black History Month – and Souza’s picture manages to be both intimate and historic. Here are three African Americans in the White House. The room they are in – the Blue Room – is opulently decorated with gold stars, Empire-style furniture, and a portrait of some grand national father who holds a white handkerchief in his white hand…


Nov 2009 – Obama jokes with staff before the Summit of the Americas in Singapore Photograph: Pete Sousa/The White House

…What made Souza such an ideal day-to-day chronicler of Obama’s presidency? The answer is surprising. Before he recorded the White House life of America’s first black president, Souza did the same job for the first Hollywood actor to rule from the Oval Office. From 1983 to 1989, he was Ronald Reagan’s official photographer. Perhaps his most famous picture of that era shows Ronald and Nancy Reagan meeting Michael Jackson, who is wearing a spangly military-style jacket. Reagan looks understandably confused – is this the king of pop or the commander of the Star Wars defence programme?…

Read the entire article here.

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Obama signs measure striking ‘oriental’ and ‘negro’ from federal law

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Law, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2016-05-21 23:26Z by Steven

Obama signs measure striking ‘oriental’ and ‘negro’ from federal law

The Hill
2016-05-20

Jordan Fabian, White House Correspondent

President Obama has signed legislation striking outdated racial terms such as “Oriental” and “Negro” from federal laws.

Obama signed the bill without fanfare on Friday along with six other pieces of legislation, the White House said…

Read the entire article here.

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How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2016-05-15 20:38Z by Steven

How psychologists used these doctored Obama photos to get white people to support conservative politics

The Washington Post
2016-05-13

Max Ehrenfreund

American politics always has surprises, but things have been especially unpredictable since President Obama took office. First, few observers were prepared for the tea party movement, which ousted several veteran GOP lawmakers, replaced them with more radically conservative newcomers, and helped the Republican Party win control of the House of Representatives in 2010.

“That left a lot of analysts slack-jawed, wondering: What was this latent force that drove the emergence of this movement?” said Robb Willer, a sociologist at Stanford University.

Then, of course, there was Donald Trump.

Willer speculates that one thing connecting these two political earthquakes might be white voters’ unconscious racial biases. In a series of psychological experiments between 2011 and 2015, he showed how hostility toward people with darker skin and perceived racial threats can influence white support for the tea party. He and his colleagues published a draft of a paper on their findings online last week — some of the most direct evidence of the importance of race to the conservative resurgence during Obama’s presidency.

First, the researchers randomly sorted subjects into two groups and showed them a series of pictures of celebrities, including digitally altered images of the commander in chief. One group saw a version in which Obama’s skin had been lightened, while in the other version, his skin had been darkened…

Read the entire article here.

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