The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama
In The Breakthrough, Gwen Ifill exposes not only the Obama phenomenon but also other prominent African-American politicians that constitute a prevailing cadre that is transforming American politics. This new American politics is one in which race no longer dominates or dictates the political reality as it did for most of America’s history. In this book, Ifill tells the story of how Barack Obama and other black leaders have risen to leadership roles in American politics, and discusses what this new reality means for the country going forward.
2. The breakthrough: politics and race in the age of Obama
Ifill begins her book by discussing the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. She talks about how Obama’s election represented a major breakthrough for African Americans in politics, and how it signaled a new era in American politics where race would no longer be a major factor. She goes on to discuss how Obama’s election was not only a victory for African Americans, but also for all Americans who believe in the ideal of equality.
Ifill then discusses other prominent African-American politicians who have risen to prominence in recent years, including Deval Patrick, Cory Booker, Artur Davis, Lisa Borders, Bakari Sellers, Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Bill Clinton, and Vernon Jordan. She talks about how these leaders are part of a new generation of African-American politicians who are changing the face of American politics. She also discusses how they are different from previous generations of black leaders, such as those who came of age during the civil rights movement. These new leaders are more focused on business than on activism, and they are more interested in working within the system to change it from within rather than fighting against it from the outside.
3. The new American politics
Ifill argues that the rise of African-American politicians to positions of power is indicative of a new era in American politics where race is no longer a major factor. She discusses how this new era is one in which tension and conflict based on race are no longer central features of American politics. Instead, she argues that we are now moving towards a more unified nation in which people of all races can come together and work towards common goals. She also talks about how this new era presents both opportunities and challenges for America going forward.
4. The African American political class
Ifill argues that the rise of African-American politicians to positions of power has created a new political class that is different from any other that has existed in America before. She discusses how this new political class is composed of individuals who come from diverse backgrounds and who have different worldviews. However, she argues that they are united by their shared experience of being black in America. This shared experience has given them a unique perspective on the country and its problems, which they can use to help solve those problems.
5. The business of politics
Ifill argues that the rise of African-American politicians has also changed the business of politics. She discusses how black politicians are now able to use their position to help black-owned businesses and create jobs in black communities. They are also able to use their influence to help shape public policy in ways that benefit black Americans. In addition, black politicians can now serve as role models for young black Americans, showing them that they can achieve success in America regardless of the color of their skin.
6. The next generation of African American leaders
Ifill argues that the rise of African-American politicians has created a new generation of black leaders who are different from any that have come before. She discusses how these new leaders are more interested in working within the system to change it from within rather than fighting against it from the outside. They are also more focused on business than on activism, and they are more interested in compromising and working with people of all races to solve America’s problems.
In conclusion, Ifill argues that the rise of African-American politicians to positions of power is indicative of a new era in American politics where race is no longer a major factor. This new era presents both opportunities and challenges for America going forward.
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