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February 28, 2008

He’s Black and We’re Proud

By Michael Dawson
How Obama, of all people, is benefitting from a resurgent black nationalism.

Feb. 27, 2008 -- It is supremely ironic that Barack Obama, the candidate who seeks to bury race as an issue in this campaign season, owes his overwhelming support among blacks to the continued power of black nationalism. For a century and a half, black nationalism has provided the main ideological challenge to the liberal, social democratic sensibilities that have always dominated black politics.

It is likely that Senator Obama's support among African Americans would have remained divided without the continued ideological influence of black nationalism.

First, we need some definitions. To start, let's define black nationalism. Black nationalism is the political ideology which takes race as the fundamental dividing line in the U.S. Black nationalists believe that the first political, cultural, economic, and/or social priority is for black people to come together. Further, Black nationalism calls for various degrees of political, economic, cultural and/or social separation from white people. Race becomes a primary determinant for making political judgments. continue reading

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