Barack Obama and the Myth of a Post-Racial America

Posted in Anthologies, Barack Obama, Books, History, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, Social Science, United States on 2014-11-09 17:56Z by Steven

Barack Obama and the Myth of a Post-Racial America

240 pages
Paperback ISBN: 978-0-415-81394-5
Hardback ISBN: 978-0-415-81393-8
eBook ISBN: 978-0-203-06779-6

Edited by:

Mark Ledwidge, Senior Lecturer of History and American Studies
Canterbury Christ Church University

Kevern Verney, Professor of American History
Edge Hill University

Inderjeet Parmar, Professor of Government
University of Manchester

The 2008 presidential election was celebrated around the world as a seminal moment in U.S. political and racial history. White liberals and other progressives framed the election through the prism of change, while previously acknowledged demographic changes were hastily heralded as the dawn of a “post-racial” America. However, by 2011, much of the post-election idealism had dissipated in the wake of an on-going economic and financial crisis, escalating wars in Afghanistan and Libya, and the rise of the right-wing Tea Party movement.

By placing Obama in the historical context of U.S. race relations, this edited book interrogates the idealized and progressive view of American society advanced by much of the mainstream literature on Obama. Barack Obama and the Myth of a Post-Racial America takes a careful look at the historical, cultural and political dimensions of race in the United States, using an interdisciplinary analysis that incorporates approaches from history, political science, and sociology. Each chapter addresses controversial issues such as whether Obama can be considered an African-American president, whether his presidency actually delivered the kind of deep-rooted changes that were initially prophesised, and whether Obama has abandoned his core African-American constituency in favour of projecting a race-neutral approach designed to maintain centrist support.

Through cutting edge, critically informed, and cross-disciplinary analyses, this collection directly addresses the dimensions of race in American society through the lens of Obama’s election and presidency.


  • Introduction
  • 1. Barack Obama, First African American President: Continuity or Change; Mark Ledwidge
  • 2. The Obama Dilemma: Confronting Race in the 21st Century; Carl Pedersen
  • 3. Republican Mavericks: The Anti-Obama Impulse in the 2008 Election; Robert Busby
  • 4. Obama in the Northeast: The Politics of Race in America’s Bluest Region; Kevin J. McMahon
  • 5. Obama, the Tea Party Movement and Domestic Dissent; Mark Ledwidge
  • 6. The Obama Election and the White Supremacist Movement: How the Rise of America’s First Black President Unleashed a Racist Backlash; Heidi Beirich and Kevin Hicks
  • 7. The Final Frontier: Barack Obama and the Vision of a Post-Racial America; Kevern J. Verney
  • 8. Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics; Rogers M. Smith and Desmond King
  • 9. The Far Side of Jordan: Obama, Civil Rights and the Promised Land Paradox; Jelani Cobb
  • 10. Continuity of Deep Structures: Housing Markets and the Increasing Racial Wealth Gap in Post-Racial America; Melvin Oliver, Thomas Shapiro and Hannah Thomas
  • 11. Prophet without Honor? Perceptions of Barack Obama’s Leadership at Home and Abroad; Andra Gillespie
  • 12. “You Say Obama, I say Osama – Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off”: Race and U.S. Foreign Policy; Lee Marsden
  • 13. The Color of Obama’s World: Race and Diplomacy During the Obama Administration; Michael L. Krenn
  • 14. First Ladies in Africa: A Comparison of Michelle Obama to Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton; Andra Gillespie
  • 15. Postscript: Race and the 2012 U.S. Elections
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Prestigious grant award for research on President Obama

Posted in Articles, Barack Obama, Campus Life, Media Archive, Politics/Public Policy, United Kingdom, United States on 2012-09-23 19:19Z by Steven

Prestigious grant award for research on President Obama

Edge Hill University
Ormskirk, Lancashire, United Kingdom

Edge Hill University and key partners have been awarded a prestigious grant to develop a research network on The Presidency of Barack Obama.

The Arts and Humanities Research Council has given an award of £31,320 to the institution in collaboration with the University of Manchester.

The special two-year project, which will run from January 2011 to December 2012, is particularly unique because the research will be undertaken while Obama is still in office and will cover topical issues and developments as they happen.

It will provide a unique opportunity to analyse key issues President Obama has had to deal with around race relations, foreign policies, the economy crisis and Obama’s wars. The funding will also be used to organise a series of high-profile lectures, the creation of an interactive website, a book, new teaching tools, a schools’ conference to run alongside the actual American presidential election in 2012, an exhibition and other community events.

Professor Kevern Verney, Associate Head of the History Department at Edge Hill, explained: “The election of Barack Obama in November 2008 was a key moment in the history of the United States as he was the first African American President. It attracted enormous popular and scholarly interest not just in America but around the world. The inspirational ideas and rhetoric of the Obama campaign generated high expectations of change. In sharp contrast to such high expectations the political realities confronting the new President could hardly have been more discouraging. From the outset his administration faced unprecedented domestic and foreign policy challenges, including the worst national and international economic crisis since the 1930s and involvement in two costly unresolved foreign wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Race also remains an issue.

“The success or failure of the Obama administration in addressing these issues will have profound implications not just for the citizens of the United states but also for governments and people around the world. This important project will discuss a number of key issues as they unfold and in the wake of either his continued presidency or his legacy.”…

Read the entire news release here.

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