Race and Politics in the Age of Obama

Christopher S. Parker. "Race and Politics in the Age of Obama." Annual Review of Sociology, 2016: 42:217–30.

Many hoped that the election of the first black president of the United States would signal the
end to what may rightfully be called the continuing significance of race. Indeed, as I write, we
should be into our seventh year of postracialism in the United States, but we are clearly not.
The emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement in response to the murders of blacks
by whites underscores the continuing significance of race in the age of Obama. The racial strife on
college campuses, including Ivy League institutions, is also indicative of the continuing significance
of race in America. Although the significance of race continues, we lack a clear understanding of
how, if at all, the presence of Obama as a political figure affects how race operates in the context
of social and political life in the United States.

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