In this week’s issue of TIME, Randall Kennedy details why, in black America, Obama is and will remain “Soul Brother No. 1:”
Obama remains widely adored for his intellect and calm, thereby providing welcome relief from pervasive images of brutish African-American masculinity. Detractors—mainly whites—have snidely claimed that Obama is an affirmative-action President. But for black voters, Obama’s personal superiority over his political rivals, in terms of knowledge, eloquence and graciousness, has provided them the gratification of being able, honestly, to scoff at the intended insult.
Of Obama’s black detractors, Kennedy says:
They complain that the President has squandered a historic opportunity—that he has done far too little to alleviate the plight of the black poor, that he has wrongly entrusted economic policy to a Wall Street …
Nevertheless, Kennedy thinks that Obama’s Black base will rise again come 2012. Read the column to find out why.