A Meaningful Obama Book

Why Jabari Asim’s ‘What Obama Means’ stands apart from the flood of Obama books.

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Obama has decried “…the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white…” And Asim says the child will now be seen as “…acting presidential …” and predicts, “That’s where the change … will begin to manifest immediately … it will be fashionable to be brainy …”

In The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. DuBois pondered the actions of a striving black man unhindered by bigotry. DuBois felt the person would neither “…Africanize America…” nor “…bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism…” but “…use his best powers and his latent genius…” And President Obama is the first to operate under such freedom.

Bijan C. Bayne is a cultural critic based in Washington, D.C.

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