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Obama and the Black State of the Union

I've watched the State of the Black Union since 2004 and this last one was great but I came away thinking that it was exactly like the other 4+ and with the audience automatic call and response, and standing ovations every 30 seconds, I don't think anything gets done as a consequence of the meeting. I know there was the Tavis Smiley's Covenant with Black America, what became of that? Anyway, Obama has said he will not be attending this year's SOTBU in New Orleans.  Understandably its a big deal that he won't. On one hand, I think that it is unfortunate that he feels that he has to distance himself from the Black community at this juncture, but on the other hand I feel like he's making a safe decision which is the best thing he can do right now. He has primaries in Texas and Ohio in about a week and those have already been billed the last nail for whoever's candidacy's coffin.

But whatever.

I think if I was in his shoes I would do the same thing.  Is that the wrong decision? Perhaps. He should send a taped apology of why he can't appear (i.e. campaigning).


I just don't like how these kind of forums feel like they have a monopoly on the black experience
in America. I love it, I'll probably still watch but we've got to spread ourselves out here, Black people! Many leaders, not one, or some, should be the new worldview.  I mean we saw it earlier in Obama's candidacy when Sharpton et al tried to make it as though since they hadn't given him their blessing he was not legitimate "black candidate".  I like the new guys: Deval Patrick, Obama, Ford from Tennessee the NJ mayor. Check out this piece in the Baltimore Sun for what I mean.


I know the usual reaction to a post like this is there is still systemic racism and endemic injustice.  I know, you're preaching to the choir. I just feel that to counteract these issue we, black people in America, need better leaders who are as diverse as we are.  I think the sun is setting on Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, NAACP etc. Believe me I love these organizations but either they radically update themselves or face irrelevancy because as we get further and further away from the Civil Rights Movement with time, I believe that black america is outgrowing these tight boundaries. 


  • wow @ owuor…na by force that you must read this blog?…
    …i think most have pointed out the most importnat fact…irrelevancy…tavis and co’s state of the black union…puppet sharpton, coon jackson and still for the colored naacp have long since deemed themselves irrelevant…big, long yawn…that fallacy of a forum is the work of puppets to placate the black masses into believing that’someone’ is identifying and campaigning for the end to the oppression of black people in the us…phooey that it is 2008 and we are still identifying and talking about the same issues malcolm and martin were talking about…talk less of how one-dimensional it is…no talk of the thousands of black immigrants and refugees and their plight or how they fit into the mix of black america…i’m so tired of these ‘black experts’ or ‘owners/definers of the black experience’ telling ‘us’ what it is to be black…i for damn sure don’t eat pork or fried catfish…but dammit if i am black…i don’t tell people who have never heard of fufu or palmwine that they aren’t black…who said that pork, greens, candied yams, chicken kool-aid and catfish made you blcak?…i’m so happy we are so open-minded and aware that black people exist outside the us…wake-up call to black americans-you are not and do not dictate the epitome of black…there are more people of african descent in brasil than the us…marinate on that for a second…
    …obama is smart to have skipped such an irrelevant parade of self-proclaimed ‘black leader’ puppets, cooning and elaborately bemoaning what we already know, without any real viable solutions…clinton would attend…i think it is indicative of what she would do for black people once in office…give great lip service [take that however you want] and keep reminding folks of what her husband did for the negros…although, for the life of me, i don’t know what he did, besides get head in the oval office…thanks clinton!!!….like a real g!!…eye roll…i used to like tavis, especially when he brilliantly hosted a panel discussion at morehouse about ethical leadership…he should go re-examine the transcript and then look at what he is doing…
    …nice post bev…sorry such a long comment and my mini-tirade in there;)…

  • lol @ Owuor. Ummmm..this is my personal blog? Also, I’m not an “illegal”. And lastly, I am on the Kenya webring, because I am Kenyan-American, and I have plenty of posts on Kenya.
    The nerve of this guy!
    (but thanks for sharing)

  • i am always surprised at angry comments, i find it hard to believe they are real – it is self-centred, as though there is no world outside that person’s wants. But anyway, beside that last one i do think everyone comments here are really good and add so much to your post Beve, and I echo Ssembonge – very well said. Thanks for another great post!

  • Tavis Smiley needs to take a chill pill. Way to help a brother out Tavis! Tavis is the face of the racially divisive politics that Obama is fighting. So what if couldn’t make it? maybe next time huh!

    Joseph Karoki
  • What is it with your obsession with obama? This is supposed to be about Kenya not your your current illegal residence. If youhave nothing about Kenya, then post your garbage as grafiti in your gheto walls.
    By a furious Kenyan.


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