Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress

Monday, September 06, 2010

Historian William Jelani Cobb looks at the 2008 election of Barack Obama—who won the Democratic nomination even though old-line civil rights leaders—Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, Andrew Young—all openly supported Hillary Clinton. In The Substance of Hope: Barack Obama and the Paradox of Progress, Cobb examines America's changing political and social landscape, and a new generation of voters with priorities not shaped by the legacy of Jim Crow.


William Jelani Cobb

Comments [2]

Excuse me , Shirley Chisholm , black Congresswoman from Brooklyn ran for president Can you tell me you think she was unqualified?

Sep. 09 2010 02:50 PM
Leslie from Norwalk, CT

I was in college in the 60's and involved as a white woman peripherally with the Civil Rights movement. It was an enormous thrill for me to vote for Barak Obama, who in my view was by far the most qualified candidate and who happened as well to be black. I would have voted for a black man or woman for president before if there had been a qualified one in my view from either party. I have heard some of my peers now call me a reverse racist - but would never admit to being a racist themselves. That's the problem with labels of any kind. They mean different things to different people, but they always elicit an emotional reaction and lead to totally unproductive shouting matches. At least now that we have a black President, of whom we can be very proud, the discussions are a little less strident and a little more civil.

Sep. 06 2010 12:41 PM

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