From black power to Barack Obama by Peniel E. Joseph

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In the book Peniel E. Joseph gives a new perspective of the president Obama’s relationship to black power and civil rights movements.He manages to show readers that the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was not the end of antiracism activism but only a beginning


The author suggests that the Election of 2008 is the first time Americans had an honest conversation about race since the Kerner Commission Report in 1968. This paper aims at discussing the book, From Black Power to Barack Obama by Peniel E. Joseph. Joseph attributes president Obama’s presidency to activities from the black power movement. According to the author, the black power movement had over the years fought for racial equality being driven by their imagination of how life would be if institutions were managed by black men. The author gives details on the activities of various black power movement activists and their indirect contribution to Obama’s presidency. He puts much focus on two activists by the names Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) and Malcolm X. He specifically asserts that these two activists were responsible for the nation’s journey from Black Power to Barack Obama. Joseph also argues that the black power movement was highly diverse and points out that more radical leader and nationalists, like Amiri Baraka, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture), and Malcolm X, despite their different excesses and failures, also helped the black freedom struggle in a manner that changed the American consciousness (Joseph 56). As much as it was frequently reduced to the ruthless, violent match of civil rights, black power had a much broader reach. The movement incorporated intellectuals, students, artists, and even politicians. ...
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