What Obama Means: ...for Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future [NOOK Book]

Overview

"This is our moment. This is our time," Barack Obama declared in his victory speech the night he was elected president. Such a moment is an opportunity to explore who we are, where we've been, and what the emergence of a leader like Obama can tell us about our culture, our politics, and our future. Jabari Asim provides the context needed to understand what the Obama presidency means to Americans of all backgrounds and shows that Obama's election is evidence of the progress that has been made in healing wounds and broadening America's concept of

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What Obama Means: ...for Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future

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Overview

"This is our moment. This is our time," Barack Obama declared in his victory speech the night he was elected president. Such a moment is an opportunity to explore who we are, where we've been, and what the emergence of a leader like Obama can tell us about our culture, our politics, and our future. Jabari Asim provides the context needed to understand what the Obama presidency means to Americans of all backgrounds and shows that Obama's election is evidence of the progress that has been made in healing wounds and broadening America's concept of leadership and inspiration.

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Editorial Reviews

Richard Thompson Ford
What Obama Means dispatches a formidable battery of references to pop and high culture with the machine-gun pacing of a music video. Often, the results are both entertaining and insightful. Asim's enthusiasm for his subject keeps the reader engaged, and the strength of his underlying thesis about changing race relations usually grounds his heavily anecdotal exposition.
—The Washington Post
Kirkus Reviews
The editor-in-chief of the NAACP's The Crisis magazine conducts a celebratory tour d'horizon of the cultural and political developments that paved the way for Barack Obama's rise. Surely, Obama's writing, oratory and first-class campaign are most responsible for his historic election, but he also had the judgment and courage to understand the country's readiness to elect its first African-American president. Asim (The N Word, 2007, etc.) identifies and explains the significance of many of Obama's cultural antecedents from the world of sports (Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods), music (Prince, Michael Jackson, Jay-Z), movies (Sidney Poitier, Morgan Freeman, Denzel Washington), television (Bill Cosby, Dennis Haysbert) and politics (Shirley Chisholm, Doug Wilder, Jesse Jackson). He convincingly demonstrates how these icons had already helped shape society in a fashion that enabled Obama's breakthrough. To a generation raised on The Cosby Show, "accustomed" to a black president through TV shows like 24 and familiar with authoritative, real-life figures like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, the Illinois senator's seemingly effortless ability to bridge the black and white worlds appears unremarkable. To Americans tethered less to history than to video-sharing and text messaging, Obama's articulate, multicultural, charismatic cool means far more than his connection to a tradition of black, activist intellectuals that stretches back to Frederick Douglass. Occasionally, Asim trips over his own argument. It's unclear, for example, how comedian Sarah Silverman's "fearless" and "irreverent" use of racial stereotypes on Obama's behalf measurably differs from the blackface satire of SaturdayNight Live or the recent film Tropic Thunder, or how, precisely, Obama has exploited the cultural fixture of the "Magic Negro" while simultaneously subverting it. For the most part, though, Asim places a sure finger on the culture's pulse, ably reporting the signal factors contributing to a moment of societal transformation that Obama appears to have mastered. An alert, thoroughly readable assessment of a candidacy that seemed unlikely only to those who weren't paying attention.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061977220
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/6/2009
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 240
  • File size: 464 KB

Meet the Author

Jabari Asim is the author of the critically acclaimed The N Word. He is editor-in-chief of The Crisis—the magazine of the NAACP—and former editor at and frequent contributor to the Washington Post, and his writing has appeared on Salon.com and in Essence, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He divides his time between Maryland and Illinois with his wife and five children.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Hate

    Hate Obama. I give it ? stars

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