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Black Culture and Experience

Contemporary Issues


Venise T. Berry, Anita Fleming-Rife and Ayo Dayo

Black Culture and Experience: Contemporary Issues offers a holistic look at Black culture in the twenty-first century. It is a collection of work that creates a synergy among authors and leads to a valuable resource on contemporary issues. Part One examines institutional, societal, and political issues like identity politics; the Rooney Rule; prosperity gospel; inequality in the criminal justice system; the American dream; the future of Black and Africana studies; and President Obama’s double consciousness. Part Two investigates social, cultural, and community issues such as the Affordable Care Act; Black women and obesity; Black men’s experience in marriage and relationships; sexual decision making; interracial relationships; and cultural racism. Part Three explores media, pop culture, and technology issues including the rise of urban fiction; hip hop and feminism; race in Super Bowl commercials; the construction of Black Diasporic identities; Whiteness in Black-oriented films; Black masculinity in Django Unchained; and the power of Black Twitter. This anthology contains work from leading scholars, authors, and other specialists who have been brought together to highlight key issues in black culture and experience today. The goal is to help readers understand where we are and where we still need to go, what is working and what we still need to work on, what is right and what is still wrong.
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Chapter Seven: To Form a More Perfect Union: Frames of Double Consciousness in Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s Race Speech


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To Form a More Perfect Union: Frames of Double Consciousness in Presidential Candidate Barack Obama’s Race Speech


At the turn of the century, I think it is safe to say that in the United States, if not the world, people never imagined that the country would elect its first Black president, but the 21st century ushered in winds of epic change on a number of fronts that made anything possible—even the unthinkable. The rejoinder to the unthinkable was “yes, we can,” and this mantra helped fuel the most exciting and engaging presidential campaign of my lifetime. Ever since the dust settled, I have reflected on the campaign and on the rhetorical messaging that had many of us swept up in fervor on one side or the other. Even before the election of the first African American president of the United States, the New York Times Sunday Magazine (Bai, 2008) asked, “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” The implied question and explicit examination in the article is: have we now entered into a postracial society?

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