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Race and the Obama PhenomenonThe Vision of a More Perfect Multiracial Union$
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G. Reginald Daniel and Hettie V. Williams

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460216

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460216.001.0001

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date: 23 July 2018

Obama, the Instability of Colorlines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future

Obama, the Instability of Colorlines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future

(p.167) 8. Obama, the Instability of Colorlines, and the Promise of a Postethnic Future
Race and the Obama Phenomenon

David A. Hollinger

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines Obama’s candidacy as a significant challenge to identity politics, a challenge that will only deepen with his Presidency. At the center of that challenge is a growing uncertainty about the significance of color lines. It has special significance for blackness given its pivotal role in the US intellectual and administrative apparatus for dealing with ethnoracial distinctions. Doubts about its basic meaning, boundaries, and social role affected ideas about whiteness, and all other color-coded identities. These uncertainties make it easier to contemplate a possible future in which the ethnoracial categories central to identity politics would be more matters of choice than ascription; in which mobilization by ethnoracial groups would be more a strategic option than a presumed destiny attendant upon mere membership in a group; and in which economic inequalities would be confronted head-on, instead of through the medium of ethnorace.

Keywords:   Race, Postracial, Postethnic, Interracial, Barack Obama

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