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Black Lives Matter and the Price of the Ticket

You could fill the wing of a library with all of the books written about President Barack Obama. In Frederick C. Harris’s The Price of the Ticket: Barack Obama and the Rise and Decline of Black Politics, he argues that the election of Obama exacted a heavy cost on Black Politics. Published in 2012—the same year that Trayvon Martin was killed—Harris’s book contends that Obama’s race-neutral approach to governing and policymaking, along with the Black elites’ refusal to pressure the president to address community interests, has incurred a political price for Black Americans.

Melanye T. Price’s recently published book, The Race Whisperer: Barack Obama and the Politics Uses of Race is the response to Frederick C. Harris’ call in The Price of the Ticket. Price’s work is lucid and compelling. She contextualizes Barack Obama as uniquely situated to tap into multiple racial appeals. He is able to make authentic and politically useful connections to multiple groups including whiteness without actually being...

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