Hyphenate This! (Not Black Like Me, Says Crouch)

From the Jan.1 Issue of Newsweek, from "Is America Ready?", an article on Barak Obama, a quote which is I think relevant to the Caribbean-American experience:

The critic Stanley Crouch argued in a recent column titled "Not Black Like Me" that Obama -- raised in Hawaii as the son of a black man from Kenya and a white woman from Kansas (both academics, both now dead)-- is more representative of the uplifting immigrant experience that the grim African-American one. He will have come into the white house through a side door--which might, at this point, be the only one that's open."

The article says Barack is similar to (Jamaican-American) Colin Powell in that he too was seen more as an immigrant than as a "descendant" (i.e. an African-American with roots in the American South). Thoughts anyone?

Barack Obama Photo (Top) by kalexnova. Pictured right, Stanley Crouch.

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Jennifer said...

Crouch is right. Obama is NOT black like him. But perhaps it would be helpful to African Americans to reach out to immigrants from the African Diaspora (and vice versa), in devising ways to move upward in American society. In addition, African Americans should recognize that there are many people of African descent around the world who are coping with just as difficult (if not worse) situations. It might be helpful for black Americans to look at the ways in which they are succeeding as opposed to focusing so frequently on the negative.

Alice B. said...

Thanks, Jennifer, for that insight.

Peace Culture said...

Two points:
1)RE: Stanley Crouch.
Why is it that people are so quick to generalize the comment of one brown pigmented person to all 12 million of us who share the same census category? Checking that box does not uniquely qualify anyone to speak for the diverse 12 million that we are. Food for thought: Do you ever hear anyone attributing Rush Limbaugh's rantings to "white Americans"?
2) RE: Obama's background
Since when did any presidential candidate NOT come from a privileged background? Why should that be an issue for Obama if it's not for Clinton, Edwards, Richardson, McCain, Giuliani ETC!? All this "race" talk that is unique to discussion about Obama is a distraction from the reall issues discussed about the rest of the pack. Let's not be fooled or distracted.