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The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial…
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The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama… (2011)

by Randall Kennedy

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It's always a pleasure to read Randall Kennedy, a consistently thoughtful, insightful, and eloquent writer. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030737789X, Hardcover)

Timely—as the 2012 presidential election nears—and controversial, here is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency.
 
Renowned for his cool reason vis-à-vis the pitfalls and clichés of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy—Harvard professor of law and author of the New York Times best seller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word—gives us a keen and shrewd analysis of the complex relationship between the first black president and his African-American constituency.
 
Kennedy tackles such hot-button issues as the nature of racial opposition to Obama, whether Obama has a singular responsibility to African Americans, electoral politics and cultural chauvinism, black patriotism, the differences in Obama’s presentation of himself to blacks and to whites, the challenges posed by the dream of a postracial society, and the far-from-simple symbolism of Obama as a leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors in its entire history.
 
Eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right, Kennedy 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:27:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"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 clichs 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"--… (more)

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