Barack Obama’s rise to the presidency has unleashed newfound optimism about the United States’ racial future. For millions of Americans, an Obama presidency represents a radical departure from the nation’s dark and often brutal racial past, and the opening of a new chapter in America’s history. In books, newspapers, periodicals, and on 24-hour cable television news channels, we are told that Obama embodies the promise of a ‘colour blind’ or ‘post-racial’ future in which racial distinctions no longer matter. This essay asks that we pause to consider the meaning behind terms such as ‘colour blindness’ and ‘post-racial’. These terms often act as political mantras and obscure the depths to which America’s racial history often descended. The essay suggests that terms such as ‘colour blindness’ and ‘post-racial’ must not be used uncritically because, as Obama has acknowledged in his books and speeches, race and racism continue to shape the lives of millions of Americans.
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Australasian Journal of American Studies|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2009|