The Persistence of the Color Line

The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

Book - 2011
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Timely--as the 2012 presidential election nears--and controversial, here is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency.
Renowned for his cool reason vis-à-vis the pitfalls and clichés of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy--Harvard professor of law and author of the New York Times best seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word-- gives us a keen and shrewd analysis of the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency.
Kennedy tackles such hot-button issues as the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, electoral politics and cultural chauvinism, black patriotism, the differences in Obama's presentation of himself to blacks and to whites, the challenges posed by the dream of a postracial society, and the far-from-simple symbolism of Obama as a leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors in its entire history.
Eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right, Kennedy offers a gimlet-eyed view of Obama's triumphs and travails, his strengths and weaknesses, as they pertain to the troubled history of race in America.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307377890
Branch Call Number: 973.932092 KEN NVD
Characteristics: 322 p. ; 22 cm


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oldhag Dec 31, 2011

"Among Obama's most relentless and vitriolic detractors were black conservative commentators". I suspect that the source of their objection to Obama was an anger that, unlike themselves, Obama had not spent years doing the ass-kissing, self-abasement, and kowtowing that white America demands before allowing black Americans to ascend the ladder of success, priviledge, and power.

Sep 05, 2011

I loved this book. Kennedy presents the race issue within the context of Obama's time and with relevant history. He's an Obama fan but with qualification and criticism. Fabulous and important read.

Aug 28, 2011

This is an excellent book about President Obama, his campaign, and his administration and how all three relate to race & racism. The author is a Harvard Law School professor and he writes like a surgeon cutting to the quick. He discusses many criticisms of Obama (from both right & left) and goes deep in examining their validity. He often writes of American history in the book to put issues into context but is also conversant in pop culture. He has a separate chapter about Sonia Sotomayor's confirmation to the Supreme Court which is very interesting. He also occasionally dips into the personal, including his own reactions to Obama's inaugural and guessing what his father's reaction would've been to Rev. Wright. He respects Obama but watches him with eyes wide open.

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