The Obamas and a (Post) Racial America?

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The United States has taken a long and winding road to racial equality, especially as it pertains to relations between blacks and whites. On November 4, 2008, when Barack Hussein Obama was elected as the forty-fourth President of the United States and first black person to occupy the highest office in the land, many wondered whether that road had finally come to an end. Do we now live in a post-racial nation? According to this book's contributors, a more nuanced and contemporary analysis and measurement of racial attitudes undercuts this assumption. They contend that despite the election of the first black President and rise of his family as possibly the most recognized family in the world, race remains a salient issue-particularly in the United States. Looking beyond public behaviors and how people describe their own attitudes, the contributors draw from the latest research to show how, despite the Obama family's rapid rise to national prominence, many Americans continue to harbor unconscious, anti-black biases. But there are whispers of change. The Obama family's position may yet undermine, at the unconscious level, anti-black attitudes in the United States and abroad. The prominence of the Obamas on the world stage and the image they project may hasten the day when America is indeed post-racial, even at the implicit level.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199735204
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 2/1/2011
  • Series: Series in Political Psychology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregory S. Parks, J.D., Ph.D., is trained as both a lawyer and a psychologist. He has worked as a law clerk on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals and the United States Court of Appeals. He has published six scholarly books and more than a half dozen law review articles. Currently, he is an attorney working in Washington, D.C.

Matthew W. Hughey, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mississippi State University. His research interests center on the study of racial identity formation, racialized organizations, and the production and reception of mass media racial representations.

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Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Measuring Racial Progress in America: The Tangled Path of Race - by Matthew W.
Commentary: Constraint and Freedom in the "Age of Obama" - by Kenneth Mack

Chapter 2: Implicit Bias: A Better Metric for Racial Progress? - Leslie Ashburn-Nardo, Robert
Livingston and Joshua Waytz
Commentary: The Erasure of the Affirmative Action Debate in the Age of Obama - by Ian Ayres

Chapter 3: Black Man in the White House: Ideology and Implicit Racial Bias in the Age of
Obama - by Kristin Lane and John Jost
Commentary: Black Man in the White House: A Commentary - Marc H. Morial

Chapter 4: Obama-nation?: Implicit Beliefs about American Nationality and the Possibility of
Redefining Who Counts as "Truly" American - by Nilanjana Dasgupta and Kumar Yogeeswaran
Commentary: As American as Barack Obama - by Lawrence Bobo

Chapter 5: Does Black and Male Still = Threat in the Age of Obama? - by Jennifer A. Richeson and Meghan G. Bean
Commentary: Threat, Fantasy, and President Obama - by Eddie Glaude, Jr.

Chapter 6: Michelle Obama: Redefining Images of Black Women - by Shanette C. Porter and
Gregory S. Parks
Commentary: First Lady Michelle Obama: Getting Past the Stereotypes - Julianne Malveaux

Chapter 7: Barack, Michelle and the Complexities of a Black "Love Supreme" - Clarenda M.
Phillips, Tamara L. Brown and Gregory S. Parks
Commentary: The Obamas: Beyond Troubled Love - by Jenée Desmond-Harris

Chapter 8: Malia and Sasha: Re-envisioning Black Youth - by Valerie Purdie-
Vaughns and Rachel Sumner
Commentary: Re-envisioning Black Youth: A Commentary by Marc Lamont Hill

Chapter 9: Obama and Global Change in Attitudes about Group Status - by George Ciccariello-
Maher and Matthew Hughey
Commentary: Commentary on Obama and Group Change in Attitudes about Group Status - Michael Dawson

Chapter 10: The Role of Race in American Politics: Lessons Learned from the 2008 Presidential
Election - by Thierry Devos
Commentary: The State of the Post-racial Union - by Farai Chideya

Chapter 11: Obama's Potential to Transform the Racial Attitudes of White Americans - by Jack
Dovidio, Samuel L. Gaertner, Tamar Saguy and Eric Hehman
Commentary: Black Behavior and Moral Dissonance: Missing Mechanisms in
Theorizing the Obama Effect - by Richard O. Lempert

Chapter 12: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: The GOP and Race in the Age of Obama - by Russell
J. Webster, Donald A. Saucier and Gregory S. Parks
Commentary: New Bottle, Same Old Wine: A Response - by Melissa Harris-Lacewell

About the Editors, Contributors, and Commentators


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