The Price Of The Ticket: Barack Obama And The Rise And Decline Of Black Politics (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies In Black Politics And Black Communities)

The Price Of The Ticket: Barack Obama And The Rise And Decline Of Black Politics (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies In Black Politics And Black Communities)

The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics (Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities)

The historical significance of Barack Obama's triumph in the presidential election of 2008 scarcely requires comment. Yet it contains an irony: he won a victory as an African American only by denying that he should discuss issues that target the concerns of African Americans. Obama's very success, writes Fredrick Harris, exacted a heavy cost on black politics.

In The Price of the Ticket, Harris puts Obama's career in the context of decades of black activism, showing how his election undermined the very movement that made it possible. The path to his presidency began just before passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, when black leaders began to discuss strategies to make the most of their new access to the ballot. Some argued that black voters should organize into a cohesive, independent bloc to promote both targeted and universal polices; others urged a more race-neutral approach, working together with other racial minorities as well as like-minded whites. This has been the fundamental divide within black politics ever since. At first, the gap did not seem serious. But...

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