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Book cover of A Day Late and a Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Post-Racial" America

A Day Late and a Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Post-Racial" America

by Robert E. Pierre, Jon Jeter

Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
Pages: 246
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780470520666






Available to Buy

Overview of A Day Late and a Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Post-Racial" America

What does Barack Obama mean to Black America? Everything and nothing all at once.

America celebrated Barack Obama's election as the realization of a dream few believed they'd see in this lifetime. It has also generated a tremendous surge of white rage and fear masquerading as populist resentment. Move a step forward, get pushed a step back.

Before President Obama took office, some suggested that everything would change. America would suddenly become "postracial." Blacks would never again have the rules rewritten and changed to their detriment. Not with Obama in charge.

A year in, the reality is much more complicated. Veteran reporters Robert Pierre and Jon Jeter set out across black America to record the stories of South and North, rich and poor, young and old, and radical and reserved. They found many a common thread—pride, adversity, community, disillusionment, and vision—in stories too often ignored by a national media that sought to put race in the rearview mirror as soon as inauguration parties ended.

As 2010 gives America its first official State of the Union delivered by an African-American president, this book gives America its first unofficial portrait of the State of the Black Union.

Filled with inspiring and heartbreaking true stories of struggle, triumph, and defeat, A Day Late and a Dollar Short may be the most important book you, or the president, will read this year.

Synopsis of A Day Late and a Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Post-Racial" America

When Henry Louis Gates spoke out about his ridiculous arrest, he stated a truth few Americans—not even President Obama—are eager to discuss: there is no such thing as a postracial America. When it comes to race, the United States has come a long way, but not far enough and not fast enough. Every day we cope with casual racism, myriad indignities, institutional obstacles, "postracial" nonsense, or worse. The powers that be, meanwhile, always seem to arrive with their apologies and redress a day late and a dollar short.

In this book, master storytellers Robert Pierre and Jon Jeter take a closer look at the lives of African-Americans from diverse backgrounds as Obama's victory comes to play a personal role in each of their lives. Every tale delves into the complex issues we will have to deal with going forward: the many challenges young black men face, subtle persistent racism, the stagnation of blacks vis-à-vis whites, widespread black participation in the military despite widespread anti-war sentiments, the decline of unions even as organized labor becomes the primary vehicle for black progress, the challenges of interracial families, the lack of good schools or healthcare for the poor, and the inability of well-off blacks to lift up others.

This honest and engaging exploration of the State of the Black Union is packed with compelling, inspiring, heartbreaking, and hopeful stories from the real lives of black Americans. You'll meet the Louisiana grandmother who escaped the backbreaking drudgery of a sugar plantation, managed to buy her own modest home, and stayed alive long enough to see a black man elected president; the fiery Chicago union shop steward who fought passionately to save the jobs of more than 260 workers; and the activist who questioned candidate Obama in public, only to have his concerns dismissed. You'll also meet a successful small business owner who describes her struggles to keep her children from being labeled as learning disabled or emotionally disturbed in both public and private schools; a South African immigrant who worries that Obama will repeat the disastrous mistakes made by African presidents in his native land; and many more. A Day Late and a Dollar Short is the one book the president should start reading today.

Publishers Weekly

Jeter and Pierre, both Washington Post journalists, examine some of the pressing political and social causes of the day-health care, organized labor, the "war on terror," and incarceration-through an anecdotal lens. Some of these stories are personal, as when Pierre discusses his family's struggles with poverty, or Jeter probes how a lifetime of enduring white racism broke his father's spirit. Other subjects seem more obviously to be placeholders for a cause, like the convicted murderer who shines light on a racist penal system or the union activist who can't afford health insurance after her retirement. The attempt to straddle the personal and political falls short however. The magnitude of specific struggles seems diluted when they are lumped together and manipulated by the authors to illustrate black disenchantment from the nation's first black president.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author, Robert E. Pierre

Robert E. Pierre, a reporter and editor at the Washington Post, has covered politics and social issues at the Post for nearly two decades. He is a former Chicago bureau chief and a key figure in the Post's 2006 award-winning series, "Being a Black Man."

Jon Jeter has served as a producer for This American Life on NPR and as a Bureau Chief for the Washington Post. He is the author of Flat Broke in the Free Market.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

Jeter and Pierre, both Washington Post journalists, examine some of the pressing political and social causes of the day-health care, organized labor, the "war on terror," and incarceration-through an anecdotal lens. Some of these stories are personal, as when Pierre discusses his family's struggles with poverty, or Jeter probes how a lifetime of enduring white racism broke his father's spirit. Other subjects seem more obviously to be placeholders for a cause, like the convicted murderer who shines light on a racist penal system or the union activist who can't afford health insurance after her retirement. The attempt to straddle the personal and political falls short however. The magnitude of specific struggles seems diluted when they are lumped together and manipulated by the authors to illustrate black disenchantment from the nation's first black president.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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