The Persistence of the Color Line

The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

eBook - 2011
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"Timely--as the 2012 presidential election nears--and controversial for its bracing iconoclasm, The Persistence of the Color Line is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency. Renowned for his cool reason vis--̉vis the pitfalls and clichš of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy--former clerk to late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Harvard professor of law, and author of the New York Times bestseller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Kennedy--gives us shrewd and keen essays on the complex relationship between "the first black president" and his African-American constituency. The Persistence of the Colorline tackles hot-button issues: the nature of racial opposition to Obama; whether Obama has any special responsibility to African-Americans; the increasing irrelevance of traditional racial politics and the consequences thereof; electoral politics and cultural chauvinism; black patriotism and its antithesis (essentialism and rebellion); differences between Obama's presentation of himself to blacks and whites and the challenges posed by the dream of a post-racial society; the far from simple symbolism of Obama as leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors. As the National Law Journal puts it: "Randall Kennedy is doing the smartest work in the area of race." Here, in The Persistence of the Color Line, Kennedy--eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right--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, 2011
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307379801
0307379809
Characteristics: 1 online resource (322 p.)

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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.

j
JudySimon
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.

f
floy
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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