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Obama Archives - Institute of the Black World 21st Century

Joe Biden

Democrats — and the U.S. — won’t have a future if Biden adopts a centrist agenda

By Commentaries/Opinions

It is up to the Democratic president-elect to ensure the future of both his party and the nation. Moving to the right, or even the center, will do neither. By Sonali Kolhatkar, Independent Media Institute — President-elect Joe Biden has called the November 2020 U.S. election a “battle for the soul of the nation.” In offering himself up as a contrast to President Donald Trump, Biden made a clear distinction…

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Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris is Obama’s natural heir: another moderate child of radical parents

By Commentaries/Opinions

Will the daughter of outspoken postcolonial progressives adopt their egalitarian vision? By Thomas Meaney and Samuel Moyn, The Guardian— Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as the Democrats’ vice-presidential nominee for 2020 elevated to the pinnacle of national politics the heir of two migrants to the US, both of whom epitomised the political ferment of the global 1960s. Moreover, such a figure has been entrusted with the party’s future for the second…

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Bakari Sellers' new memoir, "My Vanishing Country," traces his life from growing up in rural Denmark, South Carolina, to his career in electoral politics and as a political analyst.

Bakari Sellers on a life shaped by the rural South’s civil rights movement

By Editors' Choice

By Olivia Paschal, Facing South — Born in 1984, former South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers was raised in rural Denmark, South Carolina, to a family deeply involved in the civil rights movement. His father, educator Cleveland Sellers, was an activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee who was incarcerated on specious charges for which he was later pardoned following the Orangeburg Massacre at South Carolina State University in 1968. State troopers shot…

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How disinformation campaigns suppress the Black vote. Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Manipulation Machines

By Editors' Choice

How disinformation campaigns suppress the Black vote By Errin Haines, CJR — During the Democratic debates on June 27, Senator Kamala Harris had a standout moment. Former vice president Joe Biden, the front-runner, had recently made news for defending his work in the seventies with senators who advocated racial segregation, telling donors that, in those days, “At least there was some civility. We got things done.” Harris, the only Black woman in…

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson

Obama Cast Long Shadow over Harris and Others Too

By Commentaries/Opinions

By Earl Ofari Hutchinson — Former Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris problem had the same as every other Democratic presidential contender has. She tried and the others are trying mightily to make the case that they are they are their own candidate, their own person, with their own program and their own vision of what their White House will look like and accomplish. It’s a tough road to hoe. Obama…

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Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates on “Obama’s decade,” reparations, and Kaepernick.

By Editors' Choice

Ta-Nehisi Coates on What Changed in the ‘Obama Decade’ and What Didn’t. Talking reparations, Kaepernick, and the first black president with the writer who may be the definitive chronicler of racial politics in the 2010s. By Zak Cheney-Rice, Intelligencer — If the racial politics of the 2010s has a definitive chronicler, it is Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose magisterial 2014 Atlantic essay “The Case for Reparations” forced Americans to reckon with slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining…

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November 20, 2020 Democratic Debate

Women Rock in Fifth Democratic Debate

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux

By Dr. Julianne Malveaux — The November 20th Democratic presidential debate took on a much different tone than the previous debates. I’m not sure if it was because the panel of moderators was all women – NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and Kristen Welker, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and the Washington Post’s Ashley Parker. Or perhaps it was because the candidates finally got over attacking each other (mostly) and instead decided to be…

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama’s Biggest Mistake

By Commentaries/Opinions

It rhymes with ‘schneo-liberalism.’ It was an economic disaster and a political dead end. It was an economic disaster and a political dead end. In the early days of his presidency, Barack Obama had the power to overhaul the economy, but instead he focused on smaller, less effective fixes. By Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times — In 2009, Barack Obama was the most powerful newly elected American president in a generation. Democrats controlled the House and, for about five months in the second half of the year, they enjoyed a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority in the Senate. For the first six months of his presidency, Obama had…

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What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

What Reparations for Slavery Might Look Like in 2019

By Reparations

The idea of economic amends for past injustices and persistent disparities is getting renewed attention. Here are some formulas for achieving the aim. By Patricia Cohen, The New York Times — If you’re surprised that the issue of reparations for black Americans has taken so long to resolve, blame the president. President Andrew Johnson. As the Civil War wound down in 1865, Gen. William T. Sherman made the promise that would come to be…

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R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race

400th Year Remembrances of Slavery Should Prompt Renewed Attention to U.S.-Africa Policies

By Commentaries/Opinions

By R. Drew Smith Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Co-Convener, Transatlantic Roundtable on Religion and Race With 2019 regarded by many as marking 400 years since the beginnings of African enslavement on the North American continent, the costs and consequences of that historic atrocity and the case for reparations for descendants of slavery have been receiving considerable attention. It is crucial there be a serious accounting of slavery, including a financial…

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