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Postracial ResistanceBlack Women, Media, and the Uses of Strategic Ambiguity$
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Ralina L. Joseph

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479862825

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479862825.001.0001

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“Of Course I’m Proud of My Country!”

“Of Course I’m Proud of My Country!”

Michelle Obama’s Postracial Wink

Chapter:
(p.31) 1 “Of Course I’m Proud of My Country!”
Source:
Postracial Resistance
Author(s):

Ralina L. Joseph

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479862825.003.0002

Chapter 1 scrutinizes the First Lady’s response to her racist and sexist treatment in mainstream media in the 2008 presidential election campaign. Michelle Obama faced many attacks from the McCain-Palin campaign and the conservative media in the 2007–8 election campaign season, including ridicule over her “fist bump” with Barack Obama at a St. Paul, Minnesota campaign rally and the parody of her as a Black Panther on the cover of TheNew Yorker. But no attack was as brutal and sustained as the one that came after her “pride” comments during a stump speech in early 2008. In this chapter, Joseph analyses Obama’s response: coming out as a postracial, postfeminist glamour goddess on The View. The chapter asks: how did such a strategically ambiguous performance allow Obama to speak back to negative popular media representations without incurring additional racist and sexist wrath? Why did Obama’s reframes, redefinitions, and coded language work so effectively in this particular case?

Keywords:   Michelle, Obama, Black, Women, Postracial, Postfeminist, Media, Resistance, Gender, race

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