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Barack Obama and the Jim Crow Media: The Return of the Nigger Breakers Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Baraka Books (July 23, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981240577
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981240572
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #994,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"There is brutal candour in Reed's argument, which often feels refreshing in light of the euphemisms and platitudes typically expressed in both polite discourse and the media's self-scrutiny .  .  . Whether or not one agrees with Reed, one can only be entertained by his gleeful barbs and edgy turns-of-phrase. He names names and shames with derision."  —Montreal Review of Books



“Among American writers, Ishmael Reed is probably the one whose sensibility is closest to jazz.” —New York Times


“The brightest contributor to American satire since Mark Twain.”  —Nation


"Reed’s prose style resembles the youthful Ali’s ring style.” —New York Times Book Review


"Brilliant!"  —Jill Nelson, award-winning novelist and journalist


"I hope his book will lead to more journalistic self-reflection and intellectual honesty."  —Werner Sollers, Harvard University


“Just when you think that Reed is exaggerating, or being one-dimensional in his analysis of racial issues, he’ll open another page of American history and show you something new.”  David Homel, Rover Arts


"Reed's writing is incisive and astute; impassioned and amusing. He fully researches his topics and makes a decisive stand based on the facts, as he sees it. . . . An unabashed mixture of political polemic, scathing wit and cultural commentary -- a jazz-like riff that is purely Ishmael Reed." —phati'tude Literary Magazine (June 1, 2011)

About the Author

Ishmael Reed is an important American poet, novelist, playwright, and song writer who has taught at Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, and the University of California–Berkeley. He is author of Japanese by Spring, The Terrible Twos, and Writin' Is Fightin': Thirty-seven Years of Boxing on Paper. He lives in Oakland, California.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sagar Jethani on April 18, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Incendiary and delightful, Reed squarely confronts the notion that the election of the nation's first African-American president means we have entered a post-racial environment. This collection of essays covers a lot of ground, including the media's narrow coverage of race, the extremism of the resurgent right, and the complex dynamics of Barack Obama's election to the presidency.

Not for the faint-hearted, but recommended.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Herbert L Calhoun on April 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
A prolific writer and Professor at UC Berkeley, sounds off again in defense of our first Black President. His target this time is the "bought and paid for rightwing press," who according to Reed is up to its old tricks again of "n-word breaking." Only this time it is a combination of not so subtle "rightwing" lashing with the ideological whip wielded by the media moguls, who arrange news stories so as to maintain the racist social order, intact. Obama just happens to be their latest project, and according to Reed their victim.

Using as metaphor the slave practice engendered by the "Willie Lynch" syndrome of "slave breaking," better known as n-word breaking, Reed makes good milage out of it by comparing what the media did to Barack during the democratic primary, with what Phillip Covey tried to do to Frederick Douglass as a slave. Readers may recall that Douglas was sent to Covey by his master to be "broken." But Douglass turned the tables and kicked Covey's arse. Afterwards Covey was so embarrassed that the reverse beating remained their private held secret. But Covey never tried to break Douglass afterwards, nor did he ever attempt to whip Douglass again.

And although Reed showed a great deal of "up front" sympathy towards Obama for the way the media and their surrogate "The Tea Party" treated him during the Presidential primary run, Reed's sympathy seemed forced and to be done mostly out of undeserved Black solidarity. Those who know his passion, know that here he was not fully committed to this project. Apparently because he could see the hand writing on the wall: That Obama was playing all the racist angles -- dodging making any promises to blacks, using and strategically dropping racially coded words, phrases and vignettes in order to pander to the racist vote.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By shopless on December 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The strength of this book is the muscular polemics of it's author. I wanted to agree with him even when I felt that the object he was defending, namely, President Obama didn't deserve it. Reed is right that as a Black man Obama is judged with a different scale than that used for his White peers by racists, feminists, liberals, conservatives and leftists. I wanted to know what objections an honest Black man such as Reed made of Obama's adoption of policies abandoned by the GOP as not right-wing enough for their current mood. Reed doesn't seem to be bothered by the rightward drift implied by such policies too bad, this would have been a better book if he was.
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13 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mike Dube on March 2, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reed shows the context and persuasive influence of racism in our American culture, how it affected the pre-eelction primary atmosphere leading up to the 2008 presidential election. He again exposes the cultural, subliminal stereotypes applied to minorities and women by the mainstream media: for example, how black men are often portrayed as abusive and irresposible, while their white counterparts are as much so; how Reverend Wright, a former U.S. Marine, is lambasted as being a neo-terrorist because he is critical of Zionism is the U.S. and Israel, while many of his counterparts and critics on religious right most of whom have never served in the military, have said horrendous anti-Semetic slurs. A superb read.
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