Examining the parameters of Africana thought with references to the 2008 presidential campaigns that led to the election of Barack Obama as the forty-fourth president of the United States, this essay explores the relationship of black elite leadership and black mass disenfranchisement. It identifies the intersection of these two formations as a “dead zone,” that is, a void in practical and theoretical politics, one that reveals central evasions in conventional discourse given its general inability or unwillingness to critique the simultaneous successes and failures of a multiracial democracy that enables antiblack racism and genocide.

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