This chapter explores how discourse about Barack Obama's community organizing background underscores his new Black politics. Whereas new Black politics is associated with a minimization of race, centrist and neoliberal policies, and an unwillingness to “speak truth to power,” Obama has been characterized as “different” due to his community organizing experience. As I show, Obama's community organizing background is invoked by him and others in ways that amplify an opposition to Black racial solidarity associated with the tradition of old Black politics. The first section examines how Obama's community organizing is depicted as a quest for racial acceptance from old guard Black activists but translates into a story of his political maturation. The second section considers how Obama's relationship with his (now) former pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright is symbolized as a struggle between old and new Black politics and thus serves as a commentary on the presumed ineffectiveness of racial solidarity for addressing the plight of working-class Blacks.
Nopper, T.K. (2011), "Barack Obama's Community Organizing as New Black Politics", Go, J. (Ed.) Rethinking Obama (Political Power and Social Theory, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 51-73. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0198-8719(2011)0000022009Download as .RIS
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