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Black FeelingsRace and Affect in the Long Sixties$
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Lisa M. Corrigan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781496827944

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2021

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496827944.001.0001

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The Obama Coalition

The Obama Coalition

Reinvigorating Liberal Hope

(p.143) Conclusion The Obama Coalition
Black Feelings

Lisa M. Corrigan

University Press of Mississippi

While the tensions between white hope and black despair were a dynamic that characterized politics in the Long Sixties, their structure is recursive. That is, the (positive and negative racial) feelings that undergird racial liberalism did not stop emerging and receding after law and order campaigns destroyed civil rights and Black Power organizing in the mid-70s. Nowhere is this clearer than in the entrance and disappearance of the so-called “Obama coalition” in 2008 to elect Barack Obama as the first biracial/black president in U.S. history. In considering how hope continues to be inextricably linked to rage, contempt, and despair, this brief conclusion considers hope as an ironic discourse of liberalism, particularly as it is racialized. The birth of Afro- pessimism as a coterminous discourse with what we now call the “post-racial” Obama coalition is important because it demonstrates how black feelings in the Long Sixties continue to shape national political discourse, demonstrating how affective politics are iterative as well as how they change over time.

Keywords:   Obama coalition, Hope, Afro-pessimism, racial liberalism, Despair

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