By The People: The Election of Barack Obama (2009)
On November 4, 2008, Senator Barack Obama became the 44th U.S. president and the first African American elected to the White House.
"Obama, who was born in 1961 in Hawaii to a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, graduated from Harvard Law School and was a law professor at the University of Chicago before launching his political career in 1996, when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He was re-elected to that post in 1998 and 2000. In March 2004, he shot to national prominence by winning the U.S. Senate Democratic primary in Illinois, and that July he gained further exposure when he delivered the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, which included his eloquent call for unity among “red” (Republican) and “blue” (Democratic) states. That November, Obama was elected to the U.S. Senate in a landslide.
On February 10, 2007, in Springfield, Illinois, Obama officially announced his candidacy for president. A victory in the Iowa caucuses in January 2008 made him a viable challenger to the early frontrunner, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, whom he outlasted in a grueling primary campaign to claim the Democratic nomination in early June 2008.
During the general-election campaign, as in the primaries, Obama’s team worked to build a following at the grassroots level and used what his supporters viewed as the candidate’s natural charisma, unique life story and inspiring message of hope and change to draw large crowds to his public appearances, both in the United States and on a campaign trip abroad. His team also worked to bring new voters–many of them young or black, both demographics they believed favored Obama–to become involved in the election. Additionally, the campaign was notable for its unprecedented use of the Internet for organizing constituents and fundraising. According to The Washington Post: “3 million donors made a total of 6.5 million donations online adding up to more than $500 million. Of those 6.5 million donations, 6 million were in increments of $100 or less.”
In terms of campaign issues, Obama pledged to get the United States out of the war in Iraq and expand health care, among other promises. A crushing national financial crisis in the months leading up to the election shifted the country’s focus to the economy, and Obama and McCain each attempted to show he had the best plan for economic improvement.
On November 4, more than 69.4 million Americans cast their vote for Obama, while some 59.9 million voters chose McCain. (Obama was the first sitting U.S. senator to win the White House since John Kennedy in 1960.) Obama captured some traditional Republican strongholds (Virginia, Indiana) and key battleground states (Florida, Ohio) that had been won by Republicans in recent elections. Late that night, the president-elect appeared before a huge crowd of supporters in Chicago’s Grant Park and delivered a speech in he which acknowledged the historic nature of his victory (which came 143 years after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery): “If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer… It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this date in this election at this defining moment, change has come to America.”
The Library selected By the People for inclusion in The Whole Staircase Film Series. The November 4th screening was selected to coincide with the anniversary of Barack Obama's historic election in 2008.
Screening Dates and Locations
November 4, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Palatka Campus, Building A, Valhalla Hall
Film Information: By The People: The Election of Barack Obama
"Nearly a year before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency, two filmmakers began to roll cameras on the young senator. Over the next 19 months, across the USA, the daily events of the presidential campaign are chronicled." - distributor's synopsis
Run time: 116 minutes
This documentary film is not rated. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 13 and older.
Closed captioning available.
Licensed through Swank
Resources for Further Exploration - By The People: The Election of Barack Obama
Books and eBooks at the SJR State Library
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Call Number: All Campus Libraries - E185.615 .I34 2009
Publication Date: 2009-01-20
Veteran journalist Ifill sheds new light on the impact of Barack Obama's presidential victory and introduces the emerging African American politicians forging a new path to political power. Ifill argues that the Black political structure formed during the Civil Rights movement is giving way to a generation who are the direct beneficiaries of the struggles of the 1960s. She offers detailed profiles of such prominent leaders as Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and U.S. Congressman Artur Davis of Alabama, as well as numerous up-and-coming figures. Drawing on exclusive interviews with power brokers such as President Obama, Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, his son Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., and many others, as well as her own observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict, the race/gender clash, and the "black enough" conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in history.--From publisher description.
Call Number: All Campus Libraries - E908.3 .G37 2017
Publication Date: 2017-05-09
Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. Garrow has created a vivid portrait that reveals not only the people and forces that shaped the future president but also the ways in which he used those influences to serve his larger aspirations.
Rising Star is the definitive account of Barack Obama's formative years that made him the man who became the forty-fourth president of the United States. Obama's speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention instantly catapulted him into the national spotlight and led to his election four years later as America's first African-American president. In this biography, David J. Garrow creates a rich tapestry of a life little understood, until now. Garrow describes Obama's tumultuous upbringing as a young black man attending an almost-all-white, elite private school in Honolulu while being raised almost exclusively by his white grandparents. After recounting Obama's college years in California and New York, Garrow charts Obama's time as a Chicago community organizer, working in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods; his years at the top of his Harvard Law School class; and his return to Chicago, where Obama honed his skills as a hard-knuckled politician, first in the state legislature and then as a candidate for the United States Senate. Detailing a behind-the-scenes account of Obama's 2004 speech, a moment that labeled him the Democratic Party's "rising star," Garrow also chronicles Obama's four years in the Senate, weighing his stands on various issues against positions he had taken years earlier, and recounts his thrilling run for the White House in 2008. In Rising Star, David J. Garrow has created a portrait that reveals not only the people and forces that shaped the future president but also the ways in which he used those influences to serve his larger aspirations. This is about a young man born into uncommon family circumstances, whose faith in his own talents came face-to-face with fantastic ambitions and a desire to do good in the world.--Adapted from jacket.
Call Number: Orange Park Circulation -- E185.61 .C633 2010
Publication Date: 2010-05-25
Traces the ways in which black leadership and politics have evolved since the civil rights era, evaluating such topics as Barack Obama's achievements and paradigm shifts within the African-American electorate. - publisher
Call Number: Orange Park Circulation -- E185.615 .K376 2011
Publication Date: 2011-08-16
"Timely--as the 2012 presidential election nears--and controversial for its bracing iconoclasm, The Persistence of the Color Line is the first book by a major African-American public intellectual on racial politics and the Obama presidency. Renowned for his cool reason vis--vis the pitfalls and clichs of racial discourse, Randall Kennedy--former clerk to late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Harvard professor of law, and author of the New York Times bestseller Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Kennedy--gives us shrewd and keen essays on the complex relationship between "the first black president" and his African-American constituency. The Persistence of the Colorline tackles hot-button issues: the nature of racial opposition to Obama; whether Obama has any special responsibility to African-Americans; the increasing irrelevance of traditional racial politics and the consequences thereof; electoral politics and cultural chauvinism; black patriotism and its antithesis (essentialism and rebellion); differences between Obama's presentation of himself to blacks and whites and the challenges posed by the dream of a post-racial society; the far from simple symbolism of Obama as leader of the Joshua generation in a country that has elected only three black senators and two black governors. As the National Law Journal puts it: "Randall Kennedy is doing the smartest work in the area of race." Here, in The Persistence of the Color Line, Kennedy--eschewing the critical excesses of both the left and the right--offers a gimlet eyed view of Obama's triumphs and travails, his strengths and weaknesses, as they pertain to the troubled history of race in America"-- Provided by publisher.
Call Number: Orange Park Circulation -- JK526 2008 .H45 2010
Publication Date: 2010-01-11
From two of the best political reporters in the country comes the gripping inside story of the historic 2008 presidential election. In this volume, the authors use their unrivaled access to pull back the curtain on the Obama, Clinton, McCain, and Palin campaigns. - publisher
Call Number: Palatka and St. Augustine - E901.1.O23 A3 2008
Publication Date: 2008-09-09
"In these pages you find specific ideas about how to fix our ailing economy and strengthen the middle class, make health care affordable for all, achieve energy independence, and keep America safe in a dangerous world."--BOOK JACKET.
Call Number: Palatka and St. Augustine - E908 .W65 2009
Publication Date: 2009-06-02
y any measure, the 2008 presidential race has been historic. The race has created an enthusiasm and a high degree of interest in politics few have ever seen before. At the center of the race is Barack Obama, the first African American to become the presumptive Democratic nominee. Many Americans agree with his politics, and many don't, but most agree he is an incredible force in today's highly-charged political world, and has come along at one of the most crucial, difficult times in our nation's history. For a sense of what has transpired in this campaign and how it is different from others in. - publisher
Presents a series of quotations by and about President Barack Obama describing his thoughts on topics including his heritage and family, state and national politics, the issues of the day, community activism and service, and race and faith. - publisher
Photojournalist Pete Souza documents the meteoric rise of the charismatic Barack Obama from his first day in the U.S. Senate up to the Pennsylvania presidential primary. Souza, who also accompanied the senator to seven countries including Kenya, South Africa, and Russia, had access to photograph the senator and presidential candidate in private and public moments during Obama's rise to political stardom. Most of these have not been seen before. Souza provides extended commentary about each photo to place it in context, and describe the scene and participants.--From publisher description.
Call Number: St. Augustine Circulation -- E908 .O23 .D87 2008 and Palatka Circulation -- E901.1.O23 D87 2008
Publication Date: 2007-12-30
Obama's state senate career and his decision to enter the U.S. Senate race are examined in this book. The authors analyze Obama's ability to speak to the concerns of multiple constituencies by appealing to a coalition of voters that transcends race, class, and gender. As his presidential run has demonstrated, Obama gives new meaning to the American dream.
"Obama's state senate career and his decision to enter the U.S. Senate race are examined in this book. The authors analyze Obama's ability to speak to the concerns of multiple constituencies by appealing to a coalition of voters that transcends race, class, and gender. As his presidential run has demonstrated, Obama gives new meaning to the American dream."--BOOK JACKET.
In January 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States. In the weeks and months following the election, as in those that preceded it, countless social observers from across the ideological spectrum commented upon the cultural, social and political significance of "the Obama phenomenon." In "At this Defining Moment," Enid Logan provides a nuanced analysis framed by innovative theoretical insights to explore how Barack Obama's presidential candidacy both reflected and shaped the dynamics of race in the contemporary United States. Using the 2008 election as a case study of U.S. race relations, and based on a wealth of empirical data that includes an analysis of over 1,500 newspaper articles, blog postings, and other forms of public speech collected over a 3 year period, Logan claims that while race played a central role in the 2008 election, it was in several respects different from the past. Logan ultimately concludes that while the selection of an individual African American man as president does not mean that racism is dead in the contemporary United States, we must also think creatively and expansively about what the election does mean for the nation and for the evolving contours of race in the 21st century. - publisher
The year 2008 will be remembered as the moment when the US elected its first African American president. This revealing book seeks to place the extraordinary rise of Barack Obama within the larger context of a possible historic political realignment in the US and of limits to US power in the world.For 2008 also offered a number of history lessons that will surely inform studies of the election and its aftermath. Carl Pedersen's book is an attempt to engage with these history lessons. It examines the demographic changes that will likely change the nature of American national identity. And it assesses the extent to which the grassroots organizations that were crucial in winning the election for Obama may influence the way he will govern the nation. Obama's America also attempts to map out the contours of an Obama Doctrine in foreign policy by looking at how his identity has shaped his views on the role of the US in the world and how he, in turn, has been influenced by his foreign policy advisers. It examines the challenges Obama faces in confronting a post-American world in which the US is no longer the sole superpower. Will Obama be a transformative president? - publisher
Studies of Identity in the 2008 Presidential Campaign explores issues of identity politics and the presidential election. Investigating all aspects of race, gender or ageism, the contributors to this volume address the role and function of 'identity politics' in political campaigns, and highlight challenges of 'identity politics' in contemporary political campaigns. - publisher
"Communicator-in-Chief: How Barack Obama Used New Media Technology to Win the White House examines the precedent-setting role new media technologies and the Internet played in the 2008 presidential campaign that allowed for the historic election of the nation's first African American president. It was the first presidential campaign in which the Internet, the electorate, and political campaign strategies for the White House successfully converged to propel a candidate to the highest elected office in the nation."--Jacket.
H.R.1242/Public Law 115-102, the 400 Years of African American History Commission Act, establishes 2019 as a year of "commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies, at Point Comfort, Virginia, in 1619." The commemoration is intended “to recognize and highlight the resilience and contributions of African-Americans since 1619; to acknowledge the impact that slavery and laws that enforced racial discrimination had on the United States; and to educate the public about the arrival of Africans in the United States; and the contributions of African-Americans to the United States.” In recognition of this commemoration and with the Act serving as a guide, the SJR State Library has organized a year-long series of events that will provide educational experiences and resources to students and the community that celebrate the history and culture of African Americans.
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