Michelle Obama And Race In America
A post-racial president? Not so fast, says Wellesly social scientist Michael Jeffries. We’ll talk about his new book on the state of race and class and gender in Obama’s America.
Michael Jeffries, Knafel Assistant Professor of Social Sciences and assistant professor of American studies, studies race, gender, politics, identity, and popular culture at Wellesley College. His new book is “Paint the White House Black: Barack Obama and the Meaning of Race in America.”
WBUR “Obama’s name appears in the titles of courses at colleges and universities across the country, and even those that don’t pitch themselves as classes about the president are full of Obama-related reading and discussion; “Obama Studies” is emerging.”
The Atlantic “One of the iconic moments of late Bush-era America came when Kanye West wandered off script at a Hurricane Katrina telethon and boldly proclaimed, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.” Despite some obvious political and personal differences between Bush and Barack Obama, the current president has also been criticized for taking black supporters for granted and failing to advance a policy agenda that effectively combats black suffering.”
Wellesley College “We need to move away from “great man” or “great woman” explanations for historical change. President Obama is a supremely talented politician, and an important thinker and speaker in many ways, but he operates within all sorts of constraints. Likewise, our impressions of the president are constrained by our cultural context—the language we use, the images we see, and the stories that are amplified by media outlets become the raw material for building our own personal models of Barack Obama.”
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