Sojourner's Place

black & blacker: the racial politics of the obama marriage.  

Posted by SjP in

I have just read and re-read the article entitled: Black & Blacker: The Racial Politics of the Obama Marriage from the New York Magazine. While intrigued by the title, I must admit that I still don't know what the hell the author, Vanessa Grigoriadis , is talking about or trying to say.


The article starts off talking about how Michelle Obama looks at a fundraising event: In her chic outfit—sleeveless navy dress, delicate gold jewelry, peep-toe patent-leather shoes—she verges on six feet, and her firm-hold Jackie O. coiffure adds a few inches to the top. And your point is what? Let me read on...

Then Griogoriadis makes an observation relative to Michelle's foundation make-up and her blemish during her recent appearance on "the View": The singular blemish on her otherwise gorgeous face—the eyebrows, in person, are not quite as angular as one expects—is her brow, which has worked into a groove too deep to be eliminated by a slick of foundation. Excuse me? Who cares about this kind of thing! Let me read on...

Next on Griogoriadis's agenda was to provide evidence of the Michelle Obama attitudinal make-over: Early in the campaign, she came off as sassy and sarcastic, teasing Obama about his morning breath and forcing him to quit smoking before she gave him permission to run for president. She assessed our divided country candidly, calling it “downright mean” and full of people “guided by fear.” Now she has another purpose: to let people cry. O.K., am I missing something? What the hell does this have to do with the "racial politics of the Obama marriage"? And what does that mean anyway? Let me read on...

And just in case all this wasn't enough, Griogoriadis states that Michelle is the type of woman rarely seen in the public eye. She's a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black. EXCUSE ME! SAY WHAT! Let me read on...

And just because this is simply too good (or bad depending on your frame of reference) to paraphrase, Griogoriadis says: This has created confusion for some people, who seem desperate to find a negative quality in her: She’s too big, too masculine, too much like a drag queen. While Obama may be able to play with urban tropes, like dusting off his jacket à la Jay-Z or speaking in a black patois when the time calls for it, Michelle has been increasingly forced to curtail her personality during the campaign, lest she attract rumors of uttering a verboten, anachronistic word like “whitey” or find herself labeled a “baby mama.” As much as any political campaign is an extended meditation on authenticity, the question of just how black the Obamas are has become particularly loaded. Michelle must project herself as black to one community, but she also must act white to another, whatever either adjective means nowadays. Let me read on... Damn! That's the end? So what are the racial politics of the Obama marriage? Did I miss something?

WTH...WTF! Is Griogoriadis in the Michelle Malkin training camp for stupidity? Just asking.... Going to read it again!

Speak the Truth!

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old SjP ain't got nothing more to say.

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This entry was posted at Tuesday, August 12, 2008 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

4 sojourners hollin' back

"She’s a type we’ve rarely seen in the public eye, a well-educated woman who is a dedicated mother, successful in her career, and happens to be black. This has created confusion for some people"

looks like good ol' vanessa is mighty confused herself. i'm terribly tempted to make a comment on how maybe vanessa good a bit too much mascara in her eyes but maybe i shouldn't make matters worse by giving a catty reply to an, um, less-than-intelligent piece of column-filler?

August 12, 2008 at 11:11 PM

ooops, i meant "got" not "good". me cain't type.

August 12, 2008 at 11:12 PM

@ Isabella, so it ain't just me... "column-filler", well that's a good name for the article...cause I just wanted to say that its phuqued up (I cain't type either - smiling).

August 13, 2008 at 1:28 AM

What does this have to do with Michelle's and Barack's relationship as husband and wife?

It sounds to me like this is an article written by a woman who doesn't have a lot of exposure to black women.

I don't get it! But then and again the article really wasn't written with us in mind!

Did you check out the video I posted of Tyra Banks upcoming spread in Harper's Bazzar? She is posing as Michelle Obama. Let me know what you think.

August 13, 2008 at 11:43 PM
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