Going into the final stretch of President Barack Obama’s presidency, as Americans—and particularly African Americans—begin to form opinions about his legacy on issues of race (that is, what he’s done for black people), they’ll look back to a couple of great rhetorical moments and key policy successes, but they’ll also remember that he was perhaps too cautious when responding to national conversations about race. At the same time, Attorney General Eric Holder’s approach on race issues seems to be far more outspoken, and his actions more deliberate.
As we think about the significance of Obama’s presidency, a question may be whether Obama ought to take a page out of Holder’s book when it comes to being mindful about his legacy as the first African-American president, in the same manner that Holder seems to be mindful of his legacy as the country’s first African-American attorney general.
In The Root TV video below, I fret about Obama’s race legacy, and The Root’s associate editor David Swerdlick tries to reel me back in.
Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features expert advice for TV and film’s most complex characters. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.