Barack Obama and Black America

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Since the election of President Obama, black unemployment has risen to twice that of whites, and white families have 44 times more wealth than black families. The President's support has declined among black voters, and black leaders have been divided over how much to criticize America's first black president. When he addressed the Congressional Black Caucus a week and a half ago, he noted that black unemployment is at almost 17 percent, the highest in almost three decades, and called it "heartbreaking" and "frustrating" that 40 percent of African-American children live in poverty, with fewer than half believing they can achieve the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But he also chided the CBC for "complaining" and "crying." Will his most loyal constituents be discouraged from going back to the polls? Is he caught in a vice created by race and politics in America?




  • Peniel Joseph - historian and professor at the University of Texas at Austin, founder of the school’s Center for the Study of Race and Democracy - @PenielJoseph
  • Cheryl Contee - Jack and Jill Politics - @ch3ryl
  • Kai Wright - The Nation / Colorlines - @kai_wright
  • Erin Aubry Kaplan - contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, former columnist for the LA Times, author of the book “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts, and Walking the Color Line: Dispatches From a Black Journalista”


Warren Olney