Thursday, December 21, 2006

Obama: Not black enough? Or free from the legacy of slavery?

There are reasons, in my opinion, to support--or not support-- Illinois Senator Barack Obama in his presumed run for the presidency.

His race--or races--or his "cultural legacy" shouldn't matter. But to some, maybe just a few African-Americans, it does.

From AFP:

In contrast to the effusive reception Obama has received from white Americans, many US blacks so far have been cool, saying that while they may share skin color with Obama, they do not have a common culture or history.

"Obama did not -- does not -- share a heritage with the majority of black Americans, who are descendants of plantation slaves," wrote African-American newspaper columnist Stanley Crouch last month in an article entitled "Barack Obama -- Not Black Like Me."

On the flipside, African-American author and NPR commentator Steven Barnes presents a different view point:

(He) argues that one of the reasons Sen. Barack Obama could be such an appealing candidate is that he doesn't carry the cultural baggage of slavery,since his father was an immigrant to the United States.

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