Not Stopping at First: Racial Literacy and the Teaching of Barack Obama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this article the author speaks to the teaching of Barack Obama in U.S. schools. Drawing from scholarly literature on the heroification of American historical figures in public memory, the author argues that focusing on Obama's firstness as an African American may lead students to have incomplete and misleading understandings of what the 2008 election means for American racial politics and progress. Using a racial literacy framework, the author suggests Obama's narrative as an ideal subject for furthering students' conceptions of race in its historical and contemporary manifestations. The author concludes with pedagogical recommendations for employing Obama's narrative toward improving students' racial literacies. © 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalMulticultural Perspectives
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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