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What’s Wrong with Obamamania? Black America, Black Leadership, and the Death of Political Imagination

Ricky L. Jones, Author, J. Blaine Hudson, Foreword by . State Univ. of New York $14.95 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7914-7580-5

Jones (Black Haze ) uses Barack Obama’s presidential campaign to launch a fascinating and well-researched exploration into black leadership in America. The author is thoughtful and balanced in his assessment of the changing nature of black leadership—from W.E.B. Du Bois to Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesse Jackson—and in his evaluation of the challenges facing the black community’s newest generation of leaders. In dense, academic prose that often encumbers his analysis, Jones contextualizes the Obama campaign as he documents the troubled state of politics in black America, illustrating the enduring effects of slavery and segregation and charting the burgeoning influence of modern megachurches, hip-hop culture and BET. Although Jones raises more questions than he answers, this book makes a compelling case for black leaders to re-examine, augment and sometimes discard old approaches and methods. Jones lucidly enumerates the challenges, choices and limitations Obama will face as he attempts to win the presidency, and provides a level of racial analysis and exploration that is almost entirely absent in the mainstream media. (June)

Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 06/01/2008
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Hardcover - 144 pages - 978-0-7914-7579-9
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