The C.O.W.S. Gwen Ifill, THE BREAKTHROUGH Part 5

Friday, January 6th 8:00PM Eastern/ 5:00PM Pacific

the-breakthrough-gwen-ifillThe Context of White Supremacy hosts the fifth study session on Gwen Ifill’s 2009 bestseller, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. A New York Times bestselling author, journalist and anchor at PBS, Ifill, 61, died from cancer in November of this year. Ifill was one of the lone black female mainstream journalists, and she made a habit of discussing the problem of Racism. In fact, White Supremacy likely contributed to her passing at such a young age. During last week’s session, Ifill  provided a comprehensive analysis of former Newark, New Jersey mayor and current United States Senator Corey Booker. A Stanford alumnus, who, like President Barack Obama, has a White parent, Booker is noted for having “a distinguished and distinctly nonghetto pedigree.” The chapter details Booker as a charismatic new breed of black politician who understands that “race” remains a major problem. However, Ifill also described Booker’s reputation for disparaging black people “in front of elite White audiences.” Ifill also examined racial identity. But she neglected to consider the significance of White identity. She invested a sizable amount of time reviewing the notion of “being black enough.” At times, The Breakthrough seems to take African Americans to task for adjudicating the “blackness” of elected officials like President Obama or Senator Booker. But Ifill conceded a core component of black suspicion of “biracial” people: “Many white voters are clearly more comfortable thinking of them as half white.” Listeners should contrast Ifill’s presentation of Racism with the pending Trump Administration.


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