Jennifer F. Hamer

in Abandoned in the Heartland

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780520269316
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520950177 | DOI:

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The historic election of Barack Obama, cause for euphoria throughout the American black community, had special poignance in Illinois. Obama simultaneously served as a potent role model for black youth and formidable proof that racial barriers cannot prevent African Americans from succeeding. His entry to the Oval Office seemed eerily analogous to the rise of black mayors in industrial hubs such as East St. Louis, weakened by falling tax revenues, financial bankruptcy, declining infrastructure, and the dissolute practices of exiting white administrations. The charges of nepotism and corruption against the mayor are elaborated. The circumstances of East St. Louis provide an opportunity to reconsider the core values and direct attention to building equity and creating a just America.

Keywords: Barack Obama; East St. Louis; American black community; Oval Office; nepotism; corruption; tax revenues; financial bankruptcy; infrastructure

Chapter.  2099 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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