January/ February 2013 Red, White, and Black

Three generations of African American politicians.

By Andrea Gillespie

During his first term, Obama drew fire from black and Latino elites for not doing enough to provide targeted remedies for problems such as unemployment or immigration, which are of particular interest to communities of color. Given the 2012 election results, minority voters clearly had forbearance, but the question remains whether they will be patient in the next term. Will a lame-duck Obama advance a targeted policy agenda that addresses the specific concerns of minority constituencies, or will he maintain his racially transcendent posture as a matter of principle? Will minority voters remain satisfied with his “rising tide lifts all boats” approach to economic policy? His response, and the reaction of American voters, will likely set the tone for future generations of black elected officials, who will confront an increasingly diverse landscape and evolving demands for racial and ethnic redress.

Click here to read more from our Jan/Feb 2013 cover package “Race, History, and Obama’s Second Term.”

Andrea Gillespie is associate professor of political science at Emory University and the author of "The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark and Post-Racial America."