Hope Draped in Black: Race, Melancholy, and the Agony of Progress
Figures of the Postracial: Race, Nation, and Violence in the Age of Obama and Morrison
This chapter introduces two different ways of imagining the postracial. On the one hand, the postracial names a state and place beyond racial difference and inequality, or a condition advancing toward this state. This version of the post-racial overlooks how over-confident narratives, especially when attached to collective images of the nation, justify various forms of violence and erasure. On other hand, the postracial signifies the ways racial striving and loss are mediated and informed by other subject positions and identities, including gender, class, and citizenship. In this chapter, I look at Obama’s speeches and writings, showing how his attunement to...