Three writers wrestle with Obama’s racial legacy

Posted: Feb. 21 2016 3:00 AM

During both of Obama’s terms, and even before, a visible minority of black activists—some prominent, some not, and from different age groups—have criticized their president out loud when they felt their community slighted. They have been, and still are, disappointed because, they say, most of what they have gotten from him is shallow symbolism, while other constituency groups have gotten attention to specific, targeted policies. It seems like a long time ago since those days in 2008 when Barack Obama represented so much to so many, particularly those in the black, sometimes radicalized, grassroots: A new black history was visible, with new opportunities and new freedoms possible.

Eight years later, the experiment in black American democracy is almost finished, and black authors have come forth to discuss Obama and his often-overlooked-by-him constituency. The books areThe Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, by Michael Eric Dyson; Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons and the Racial Divide, by Joy-Ann Reid, national correspondent for MSNBC; and Democracy in Black: How Race Still Enslaves the American Soul, by Princeton professor Eddie S. Glaude Jr.

Read more at The Root.

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