Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America

Posted in Barack Obama, Books, Media Archive, Monographs, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2012-08-23 01:37Z by Steven

Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama’s Post-Racial America

Indiana University Press
176 pages
6 x 9
Cloth ISBN: 978-0-253-00628-8

David H. Ikard, Associate Professor of English
Florida State University

Martell Lee Teasley, Professor of Social Work
University of Texas, San Antonio

In a speech from which Nation of Cowards derives its title, Attorney General Eric Holder argued forcefully that Americans today need to talk more—not less—about racism. This appeal for candid talk about race exposes the paradox of Barack Obama’s historic rise to the US presidency and the ever-increasing social and economic instability of African American communities. David H. Ikard and Martell Lee Teasley maintain that such a conversation can take place only with passionate and organized pressure from black Americans, and that neither Obama nor any political figure is likely to be in the forefront of addressing issues of racial inequality and injustice. The authors caution blacks not to slip into an accommodating and self-defeating “post-racial” political posture, settling for the symbolic capital of a black president instead of demanding structural change. They urge the black community to challenge the social terms on which it copes with oppression, including acts of self-imposed victimization.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Is America a Nation of Cowards or Has Attorney General Eric Holder Lost His Mind?
  • 1. The Teaching Moment that Never Was: Henry Louis Gates, Barack Obama, and the Post-Racial Dilemma
  • 2. “I Know What’s in His Heart”: Enlightened Exceptionalism and the Problem with Using Barack Obama as the Racial Litmus Test for Black Progress and Achievement
  • 3. The Audacity of Reverend Wright: Speaking Truth to Power in the 21st Century
  • 4. Setting the Record Straight: Why Barack Obama and America Cannot Afford to Ignore a Black Agenda
  • 5. Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps: Barack Obama, the Black Poor, and the Problems of Racial Common Sense
  • Index
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Barack Obama’s Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, New Media, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2009-12-18 01:46Z by Steven

Barack Obama’s Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America

Journal of Black Studies
January 2010
Volume 40, No. 3

Guest Editor
Pamela D. Reed, Assistant Professor of English Composition and Africana Literature
Virginia State University

The Journal of Black Studies has now issued two special issues on President Barack Hussein Obama. “The Barack Obama Phenomenon” (Mazama, 2007) examines the historic candidacy of the then Illinois Senator. The present issue explores Obama’s nascent presidency and matters of race and racism, both in the run-up to and in the wake of his landmark victory.

Try as one might, it is not possible to minimize the centrality of race in all areas of American life, even now. Indeed, since the inception of the American republic, built on the backs of enslaved Africans, race and color have been the ultimate determinants of socioeconomic status. For over four centuries, dating from around the mid-15th century, millions of Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean, and scores of them were brought to the United States, where their forced labor provided the engine for the American capitalist machine…

…Whatever the case, W. E. B. Du Bois’s prescient statement (1903) regarding the problem of the color line in the 20th century is no less true today—even as we head into the second decade of the 21st century. Be that as it may, Barack Hussein Obama is the 44th President of these United States. As a result, scholars will undoubtedly dissect his election and his presidency for the foreseeable future. We begin that process herein.

Table of Conents

  • Pamela D. ReedIntroduction: Barack Obama’s Improbable Election and the Question of Race and Racism in Contemporary America. pp. 373-379.
  • Philip S. S. HowardTurning Out the Center: Racial Politics and African Agency in the Obama Era. 380-394.
  • Christopher J. MetzlerBarack Obama’s Faustian Bargain and the Fight for America’s Racial Soul. pp. 395-410.
  • Martell Teasley and David IkardBarack Obama and the Politics of Race: The Myth of Postracism in America. pp. 411-425.
  • Thomas EdgeSouthern Strategy 2.0: Conservatives, White Voters, and the Election of Barack Obama. pp. 426-444.
  • Felix Germain “Presidents of Color,” Globalization, and Social Inequality. pp. 445-461.
  • Pearl K. Ford, Tekla A. Johnson, and Angie Maxwell“Yes We Can” or “Yes We Did”?: Prospective and Retrospective Change in the Obama Presidency. pp. 462-483.
  • David MasteySlumming and/as Self-Making in Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father. pp. 484-501.

Read the entire introduction here.

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