Obama and Race: History, Culture, Politics

1st Edition

Richard H King

Routledge
Published November 10, 2011
Reference - 200 Pages
ISBN 9780415686785 - CAT# Y121618

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Summary

In this collection, academics from both sides of the Atlantic analyze the confluence of a politician, a process, and a problem - Barack Obama, the 2008 US presidential election, and the 'problem' of race in contemporary America. The special focus falls upon Barack Obama himself, who appears in many guises: as an individual from biracial and transnational backgrounds; a skilled, urban African-American organizer and then politician; and as intellectual and author of a bestselling autobiographical exploration.

There is a certain representative quality about Obama that makes him a convenient way into the labyrinth of American race relations, national and regional politics (including the South and Hawaii), and past history (particularly from the 1960s to the present). Contributors also explore the role Michelle Obama has played in this process, both separately from and together with her husband, while one theme running through many chapters concerns the myriad ways that the American left, right and centre differ on the nature and future of race in a country that daily becomes more mixed in ethnic and racial terms. Race is everywhere; race is nowhere. The essays are grouped by their approach to the topic of Obama and race: via historical analysis, cultural studies, political science and sociology, as well as pedagogy. The result is an exciting mix of perspectives on one of the most fascinating phenomena of our time.

This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal Patterns of Prejudice.

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