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Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s Discourses on Race and Citizenship

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Abstract:

Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s Discourses on Race and Citizenship

By Betty M. Knight
Department of Africana Studies
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747
atimetoembrace@yahoo.com

This paper explores the discourse on race and citizenship in both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama speeches. Both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama are key African American Political leaders. Douglass believed, just like Obama believes now, in the inherent goodness of America, that is, in America’s ability to transcend the racism that has kept some of her children on its margins. They both, each in his own time, challenge the notion of race that has for a long time been used to rationalize segregation and marginalization of people of African descent. They both believe in America’s capacity to change from its racist traditions to egalitarian values as well as to valuing its diversity. This paper critically examines the basis of each of these politicians’ hope for a non-racist society and the arguments that undergird their vision of an America that provides equal citizenship to diverse ethnic groups which are part her population. Discussing both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s arguments for equal citizenship for African Americans provides a historical perspective to Obama’s presidency and the discourses that have contributed to its possibility. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the implications of Obama’s presidency to the discourses on race and citizenship.
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Association:
Name: 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies
URL:
http://www.ncbsonline.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p305347_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Knight, Betty. "Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s Discourses on Race and Citizenship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown, Atlanta, GA, <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p305347_index.html>

APA Citation:

Knight, B. M. "Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s Discourses on Race and Citizenship" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 33rd Annual National Council for Black Studies, Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown, Atlanta, GA <Not Available>. 2014-11-30 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p305347_index.html

Publication Type: Panelist Abstract
Abstract: Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s Discourses on Race and Citizenship

By Betty M. Knight
Department of Africana Studies
California State University, Dominguez Hills
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, CA 90747
atimetoembrace@yahoo.com

This paper explores the discourse on race and citizenship in both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama speeches. Both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama are key African American Political leaders. Douglass believed, just like Obama believes now, in the inherent goodness of America, that is, in America’s ability to transcend the racism that has kept some of her children on its margins. They both, each in his own time, challenge the notion of race that has for a long time been used to rationalize segregation and marginalization of people of African descent. They both believe in America’s capacity to change from its racist traditions to egalitarian values as well as to valuing its diversity. This paper critically examines the basis of each of these politicians’ hope for a non-racist society and the arguments that undergird their vision of an America that provides equal citizenship to diverse ethnic groups which are part her population. Discussing both Frederick Douglass and Barack Obama’s arguments for equal citizenship for African Americans provides a historical perspective to Obama’s presidency and the discourses that have contributed to its possibility. It also provides an opportunity to discuss the implications of Obama’s presidency to the discourses on race and citizenship.


Similar Titles:
The End of Ideology, Again: Barack Obama, Identity Politics and the Future of Race Relations in a Post-Race, Post Civil Rights, Colorblind America

First Black Presidents, Barack Obama and the Political Economy: A Comparative Analysis with Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington

Race and Race to the White House: Racializing Barack and Michelle Obama from 2008 to the Present


 
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