Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Do You Want To Win a Copy of the New Book The Obamas?

I like giving folks goodies. To that end, I have been gifted with a few copies of Jodi Kantor's new book, The Obamas, to give away to the readers of We Are Respectable Negroes. Widely discussed in the press, a target of criticism by First Lady Michelle Obama, containing titillating gossip about Barack Obama's edict that a staffer must watch Barbershop 1 and 2 in order to learn about the sacred relationship between a black man and his barber, and with tales of ghetto nerd greatness such as an Alice in Wonderland themed party (with an appearance by Chewbacca) in the White House, The Obamas sounds more than intriguing.

Now, you all know that you got to earn your keep around here--no one gets a free ride from this respectable negro.

The election of Barack Obama was an amazing moment for the United States. We saw what was once thought impossible--a black man elected President in a country, where for a majority of its history, folks such as Barack Obama were held as human property. As I have written elsewhere, that moment, as well as the years which followed, were/are the stuff of science fiction. The unbelievable has now become mundane; but for many, there remains a warm glow surrounding the election of the United States' first black president.

Memories are malleable. They do not live like people do. For those of the Civil Rights generation, there is a tendency to exaggerate, lie, bend the truth, or simply "misremember" their role in The Movement. For example, my mother told a tall tale about being in the streets with Dr. King, staring down dogs, and marching for freedom. Moms maintained this lie for years. Under pressure, she later confessed that she had no taste for non-violence and would have gone to jail if a white cop had beat on her. Thus, no Dr. King marching and protesting for her. But, she held onto that creative reinterpretation of history because the story was "fun" (and it inspired her son).

In that spirit, tell me your personal story about the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

You can be creative and do a dry run of the myth which you will spin for your great grand kids when they ask, "where were you when Obama won? What did you do to help his campaign?"

Do you have a poignant story to tell, something so true that it must be shared for the benefit of all times? Or do you have a secret shame, one that you will need to change for the benefit of your legacy? Were you in jail? Indifferent? Overslept on election day or forgot to register? Secretly voted for McCain/Palin, but lied to everyone by telling them that you cast a ballot for then candidate Barack Obama? Did you engage in a post-election night of kinky rutting, one where you and your partner role-played as Barack and Michelle?

Unburden yourself. There is no judgment here--just a cool prize.

The two best submissions (as judged by me) will each receive one copy of The Obamas.

Have at it. The contest will run through Wednesday, January 18th, at which point I will announce our winners.

Good luck.


Your driver said...

Lemme think about it. Mine's a bit of a tearjerker. What's the deadlne?

Your driver said...

Oops, next Monday. Now I see the deadline.

Janice Graham said...

I will try to meet the deadline. There is a childhood history of Black President dreams, long closeted in the mind of Black Jim Crow baby.

Anonymous said...

Silly contest a fictional book where white author never interviewed the Obamas .Why would I want that shit in my library a bullshit free book from a privileged white woman no I think that is lousy prize for my submission which deserves better.

nomad said...

I'm in a reminiscing frame of mind. Here is something from my diary at the time. Before I started bloviating:

I understand why a lot of people are thrilled by Obama's victory. It is, after all, the most amazing political feat in American history. But it is not quite the revolution it seems. It has been heralded as a triumph for black people, but it is merely the triumph of a black individual; so far. And a unique kind of black individual at that - a biracial; the mulatto. One whose family history does not include the experience of slavery. The people who went through that crucible have still not been justified.

nomad said...

To his credit Obama has been a community activist and married into the African American community. This seems to indicate that his heart is in the right place. But up till this point his rhetoric has been designed to distance himself from traditional African American concerns. He ran a non-racial campaign. No one can blame him for that. It is the only way ablack person could have won. But that's not really a triumph for black Americans. The political agenda has always excluded us. Obama has signaled in his campaign that civil rights [for blacks] is not on the agenda. It could be [I thought] that this distancing from black issues was a ploy to get elected.

Now that he is elected, the real Obama is being revealed. So far the signs don't look promising. His appointees suggest a conventional outlook, rather than the change he trumpeted. Rahm Emanuel may not be Mossad as the more radical critics suggest, but he certainly has a Zionist family background. And Hillary Clinton...represents the political centrism of the Bill Clinton era. His other appointees are Clinton retreads as well. These are not good omens. Instead of electing Thurgood Marshall we may have elected Clarence Thomas.

Anonymous said...

Well, I was going to vote for Kucinich in the primary but he dropped out, so it was Clinton vs. Obama and hard to choose. I felt guilty not voting for the woman but felt that the larger symbolic gesture in US was to vote for a Black candidate who might actually win. I'd voted for Jesse Jackson a couple of times in primaries, on first choice too, but had known he wouldn't win, so this was different in that way. I also didn't want to vote for anyone in the Clinton family. So it was fun to vote for Obama since it was rebellious, the p.c. thing to do was to vote for the woman and so on.

Then in the general election it was satisfying to go down and stick it to the Republicans, of course, but I didn't feel all that hopeful about what Obama would actually do as President. It was an oddly quiet night, I didn't know there was a victory party in town to go to, wish I had - he'd lost badly locally, of course, and it would have been nice to see another Obama voter that evening.

The thrill was the next day, talking to younger people who, for the first time, had had a candidate they voted for and felt represented an improvement, actually win; they'd also voted in a historic vote and so on, and they were buoyant, so then I felt happy.

Your driver said...

I got busy all weekend. No time to write my story. Does the deadline extend until midnight California time? I've got to go out for a few hours but I'll be home late. I might try and write my little reminiscence then.

nomad said...

Dude, where's my prize?