African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2013-02-11 18:53Z by Steven

African Americans and the Presidency: The Road to the White House

256 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-80392-2
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-80391-5
eBook ISBN: 978-0-203-86433-3

Edited by:

Bruce A. Glasrud, Professor Emeritus of History
California State University, East Bay

Cary D. Wintz, Distinguished Professor of History and Geography
Texas Southern University

African Americans and the Presidency explores the long history of African American candidates for President and Vice President, examining the impact of each candidate on the American public, as well as the contribution they all made toward advancing racial equality in America. Each chapter takes the story one step further in time, through original essays written by top experts, giving depth to these inspiring candidates, some of whom are familiar to everyone, and some whose stories may be new.

Presented with illustrations and a detailed timeline, African Americans and the Presidency provides anyone interested in African American history and politics with a unique perspective on the path carved by the predecessors of Barack Obama, and the meaning their efforts had for the United States.


  • Introduction: The African American Quest for the Presidency / Bruce A. Glasrud and Cary D. Wintz
  • 1. Beginning the Trek—Douglass, Bruce, Black Conventions, Independent Political Parties / Bruce A. Glasrud
  • 2. The Communist Party of the United States and African American Political Candidates / David Cullen and Kyle G. Wilkison
  • 3. Charlotta A. Bass—Win Or Lose, We Win / Carolyn Wedin
  • 4. Shirley Chisholm—A Catalyst for Change / Maxine D. Jones
  • 5. The Socialist Workers Party and African Americans / Dwonna Naomi Goldstone
  • 6. Civil Rights Activists and the Reach for Political Power / Jean Van Delinder
  • 7. Jesse Jackson—Run, Jesse, Run! / James M. Smallwood
  • 8. Lenora Branch Fulani—Challenging the Rules of the Game / Omar H. Ali
  • 9. Race Activists and Fringe Parties with a Message / Charles Orson Cook
  • 10. Black Politicians—Paving the Way / Hanes Walton, Jr., Josephine A. V. Allen, Sherman C. Puckett, and Donald R. Deskins, Jr.
  • 11. Colin Powell—The Candidate Who wasn’t / Cary D. Wintz
  • 12. Barack Hussein Obama—An Inspiration of Hope, an Agent for Change / Paul Finkelman
  • Blacks and the Presidency: A Selected Bibliography

Introduction: The African American Quest for the Presidency

Forty years ago (1968), the African American political scene began to change dramatically, the culmination of Supreme Court decisions such as Smith vs. Allwright, Baker vs. Carr, and Terry vs. Adams; amendments to the United States Constitution including the fourteenth, fifteenth, nineteenth, and twenty-fourth; federal legislation, especially the Civil Rights Act (1964) and Voting Rights Act (1965); and determined black leaders and voters. African Americans as never before voted and contended for national office. Some white liberals abetted and encouraged the metamorphoses. All was not well, however. Civil rights leader and black activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated while leading a reform effort in Memphis, Tennessee. Two months later, while completing a primary election victory in California, Democratic senator Robert F. Kennedy, a white proponent of black rights, was assassinated. Perhaps propelled by these losses on the national scene, African American men and women participated in the national political process as delegates and voters, both vital steps, and also as nominees and candidates.

A few years before, while serving as Attorney General of the United States for his brother, John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy asserted that the United States could have a black president within forty years. As Kennedy phrased it, “in the next forty years a Negro can achieve the same position that my brother has.” From the perspective of 2008 Kennedy’s prescience is remarkable. Forty years after the assassinations of King and Kennedy, an African American, Senator Barack Obama, was the Democratic Party’s nominee for the presidency. By mid-September most polls suggested that he was the front-runner to be elected president of the United States, and in November Obama was elected the forty-fourth president of the United States. President Obama was not the first African American to seriously pursue the presidency. In fact, more than forty black men and women candidates paved the way for a black president; Obama stands on the shoulders of those other black leaders and politicians…

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Perspectives and Research on the Positive and Negative Implications of Having Multiple Racial Identities

Posted in Articles, Census/Demographics, Identity Development/Psychology, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United States on 2009-10-11 16:14Z by Steven

Perspectives and Research on the Positive and Negative Implications of Having Multiple Racial Identities

Psychological Bulletin
Volume 131, Number 4 (June 2005)
pages 569–591
DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.4.569

Margaret Shih, Professor in Management and Organizations
Anderson School of Management
University of California, Los Angeles

Diana T. Sanchez, Associate Professor of Social Psychology
Rutgers University

Much attention has been directed toward understanding the impact having a multiracial background has on psychological well-being and adjustment. Past psychological research has focused on the challenges multiracial individuals confront in defining a racial identity. The implication is that these challenges lead to outcomes that are psychologically detrimental. However, evidence to support this assertion is mixed.  The authors review qualitative and quantitative empirical research examining multiracial individuals’ identity development, depression, problem behaviors, peer relationships, school performance, and selfesteem, finding support for detrimental outcomes only in studies sampling clinical populations. Studies on nonclinical samples find that multiracial individuals tend to be just as well-adjusted as their monoracial peers on most psychological outcomes. Earlier assertions of maladjustment may have been due to reliance on qualitative research that sampled clinical populations. Other implications and futureresearch are discussed.

Tiger Woods has received much attention, not only for being the youngest person to win the prestigious Masters Golf Tournament, but also for being an individual of mixed-race ancestry. His father is Black, Native American, and Chinese, and his mother is Thai, Chinese, and White. Woods represents a growing trend in American society. Since the repeal in 1967 of miscegenation laws prohibiting racial mixing, the number of interracial marriages in the United States has increased dramatically (Kennedy, 2003; Root, 2001). Consequently, the number of individuals who can claim membership in multiple racial categories has also increased dramatically (Root, 1996). The population of multiracial children has multiplied from 500,000 in 1970 to more than 6.8 million in 2000 (Jones & Symens Smith, 2001).

This explosion in the number of individuals with multiracial backgrounds has raised the issue of understanding where these individuals fit into preexisting social categories. Nowhere is this difficulty more clearly illustrated than in the controversy over whether the 2000 Census should have included a multiracial category.  Until then, individuals of mixed ancestry had to choose between their component identities on the census form. However, multiracial groups have argued that picking just one identity forces multiracial individuals to deny other parts of themselves (Gaskins, 1999) and does not accurately reflect the nation’s true racial make-up (Holmes, 1997). On the other hand, prominent civil rights activists, such as Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume, argued against the creation of a separate multiracial category in order to preserve minority numbers and maintain political influence (Rockquemore & Brunsma, 2002).

A federal task force was set up to investigate the political and social implications of creating a new racial classification (Holmes, 1997).  The task force asked questions such as, “If a multiracial category were included, would all people with different combinations of racial backgrounds, such as Black/Asian and Native American/White, be considered members of the same group?  Would there still be individuals with multiracial identities who would choose to identify by a single race?” This issue was finally resolved in 1997, when it was recommended that the category “multiracial” should not be included in census forms but that instead multiracial individuals could check off more than one racial category.

This controversy illustrates that having a multiracial identity challenges American society’s traditional notions and assumptions about race and racial categories (Johnson, 1992; Ramirez, 1996; Root, 1992; Spickard, 1992). Given the seeming difficulty American society has with trying to understand the notion of multiracial identity, psychologists have begun studying many of those questions considered by the U.S. Census Bureau Task Force, such as, how do multiracial individuals understand their racial identities? In addition, because multiracial families and multiracial individuals may pose a challenge to existing racial categories and the social systems upon which these categories rest, psychologists have become interested in understanding the consequence of coming from a multiracial background and in identifying the tremendous difficulties multiracial families and multiracial individuals encounter in navigating their social world (Gibbs, 1987, 1989; Root, 1992). For example, multiracial families contend with hardships such as a lack of social recognition (Nakashima, 1996), disapproval from extended family, exclusion from neighborhood and community (Kerwin & Ponterotto, 1995; Kerwin, Ponterotto, Jackson, & Harris, 1993), discrimination, and social isolation (Brown, 1995; Gaskins, 1999)…

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