The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of
Race in America by Michael Eric Dyson
A provocative and lively deep dive into the meaning of
America's first black presidency, from “one of the most graceful and lucid
intellectuals writing on race and politics today” (Vanity Fair).
Michael Eric Dyson explores the powerful, surprising way the
politics of race have shaped Barack Obama’s identity and groundbreaking
presidency. How has President Obama dealt publicly with race—as the national
traumas of Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Freddie
Gray, and Walter Scott have played out during his tenure? What can we learn
from Obama's major race speeches about his approach to racial conflict and the
black criticism it provokes?
Dyson explores whether Obama’s use of his own biracialism as
a radiant symbol has been driven by the president’s desire to avoid a painful
moral reckoning on race. And he sheds light on identity issues within the black
power structure, telling the fascinating story of how Obama has spurned traditional
black power brokers, significantly reducing their leverage.
President Obama’s own voice—from an Oval Office interview
granted to Dyson for this book—along with those of Eric Holder, Al Sharpton,
Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, and Maxine Waters, among others, add unique depth
to this profound tour of the nation’s first black presidency.