Signifier In Chief
What Obama Means:
...for Our Culture, Our Politics, Our Future
by Jabari Asim
$21.99 List Price
Jabari Asim’s previous book, The N Word (2007), employed the notorious racial epithet to illuminate the history of American white supremacy. Now Asim, the editor of the NAACP’s bimonthly magazine, The Crisis, employs a similar technique in What Obama Means to study a new chapter in our country’s racial history—the election of our first black president. Acknowledging that Obama, like race itself, conveys a series of shifting meanings, Asim traces African Americans’ evolving image through a narrative of cultural history, highlighting several fulcrums in that history to help explain the unlikely formative saga of President Barack Hussein Obama.
Asim lays special stress on racial “breakthroughs” in music, athletics, politics, and culture. He mines cultural ephemera for unusual insights, as when he compares Obama’s
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