This introductory chapter presents Barack Obama's self-identification on his U.S. census form as a Black African American or Negro. His move settles one of the most prevalent issues during his 2008 presidential campaign—his racial identity—and resounded the monoracial ways of thinking that prevailed throughout U.S. history. Given that Obama often spoke of himself as a mixed-race, many people were surprised when he chose to write only one of his racial identities. Three lessons can be derived from this account: (1) how one talks about oneself can be different from how one identifies from day to day; (2) how one identifies from day to day can be different from how one fills out forms; and (3) one may choose a political statement different from both how one talks and how one identifies.
NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.