Beyond post-racial narratives: Barack Obama and the (re)shaping of racial memory in US schools and society

William L. Smith, Anthony L. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Drawing from the work of cultural memory and racial formation theory (Omi and Winant 1994) we explore the ascension of Barack Obama as an illustration of how 'race' is understood and remembered. This article focuses on the public media discourse of the 2012 Obama re-election to illustrate how the narrative morphed racially from 2008 to 2012. Our findings suggest that the public discourse about ascension and re-election of Barack Obama drew from racial and post-racial narratives to describe his re-election. We contend that attention given to the public construction of Barack Obama in the present is vitally important to how the narrative arc of 'race' in the US will be understood in schools and society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-175
Number of pages23
JournalRace Ethnicity and Education
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Obama
  • curriculum
  • narrative
  • post-racial
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education

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