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Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism$
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James Zeigler

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781496802385

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2017

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496802385.001.0001

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date: 14 August 2018

Black Is Red All Over Again: President Obama’s Father Figure Frank Marshall Davis

Black Is Red All Over Again: President Obama’s Father Figure Frank Marshall Davis

Chapter:
(p.146) Chapter Four Black Is Red All Over Again: President Obama’s Father Figure Frank Marshall Davis
Source:
Red Scare Racism and Cold War Black Radicalism
Author(s):

James Zeigler

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781496802385.003.0005

The fourth chapter returns to the topic of Frank Marshall Davis’s alleged influence on President Obama, detailing the attention given to Davis’s appearance in the memoir Dreams from My Father. Conservative media contesting Obama’s legitimacy invoked Davis as a role model of black masculine anger, depraved sexual license, resentment of America, and loyalty to the USSR. This chapter responds to this fantastic and false anticommunist refashioning of Davis into an un-American father figure. A rhetorical analysis of Davis’s Honolulu Record column “Frank-ly Speaking” (1948-1957) substantiates criticism of the way Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary film 2016: Obama America perpetuates a New Right mythic history of the civil rights movement. D’Souza reduces Martin Luther King Jr.’s aspirations to piety about “colorblindness” and, in a defense of European colonialism, denies the American civil rights movement’s vital affiliations with the transnational black freedom struggle that was instrumental for decolonization outside the United States.

Keywords:   Frank Marshall Davis, Barack Obama, Dinesh D’Souza, Anticommunism, Honolulu Record

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