1

A More Perfect Union Barack Obama

The Speech: Race and Barack Obama’s “A More Perfect Union” is a non-fiction book edited by T. Denean Sharply-Whiting, author of several books on race and director of Vanderbilt University’s African American and Diaspora Studies, concerning the “A More Perfect Union” speech of then-Senator Barack Obama. The speech was delivered on March 18, 2008 in the course of the contest for the 2008 Democratic Party presidential nomination. Speaking before an audience at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Obama was responding to a spike in the attention paid to controversial remarks made by the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his former pastor and, until shortly before the speech, a participant in his campaign. Obama framed his response in terms of the broader issue of race in the United States. The speech’s title was taken from the Preamble to the United States Constitution. Obama addressed the subjects of racial tensions, white privilege, and race and inequality in the United States, discussing black “anger,” white “resentment,” and other issues as he sought to explain and contextualize Wright’s comments. His speech closed with a plea to move beyond America’s “racial stalemate” and address shared social problems. On March 27, 2008, the Pew Research Center called the speech “arguably the biggest political event of the campaign so far,” noting that 85 percent of Americans said they had heard at least a little about the speech and that 54 percent said they heard a lot about it. Eventually, The New Yorker opined that the speech helped elect Obama as the President of the United States. The speech itself was widely praised as eloquent and honest and concerned racial issues in the United States. Obama, of African-American ancestry, is the first non-white US President.

Show Comments

No Responses Yet

Leave a Reply