Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

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Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, from 2009 to 2017. The nation’s first Black president, Obama won broad support by campaigning on a mix of antiracist and assimilationist rhetoric. Antiracists celebrated him as a great symbol for racial progress, segregationists attacked him relentlessly, and assimilationists portrayed him as an “extraordinary Negro” who proved that the U.S. had overcome racism.

Barack Obama Quotes in Stamped

The Stamped quotes below are all either spoken by Barack Obama or refer to Barack Obama. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Little, Brown Books for Young Readers edition of Stamped published in 2020.
Chapter 28 Quotes

In the book, he claimed to be exempt from being an “extraordinary Negro,” but racist Americans of all colors would in 2004 begin hailing Barack Obama, with all his public intelligence, morality, speaking ability, and political success, as such. The “extraordinary Negro” hallmark had come a mighty long way from Phillis Wheatley to Barack Obama, who became the nation’s only African American in the US Senate in 2005. With Phillis Wheatley, racists despised the capable Black mind, but with Obama, they were turning their backs on history so that they could see him as a symbol of a post-racial America. An excuse to say the ugliness is over.

Related Characters: Jason Reynolds (speaker), Barack Obama, Phillis Wheatley
Related Symbols: “Extraordinary Negroes”
Page Number: 235-236
Explanation and Analysis:
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Barack Obama Character Timeline in Stamped

The timeline below shows where the character Barack Obama appears in Stamped. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 27: A Bill Too Many
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
...delighted. They blamed poor Black parents for their children’s difficulties in school. And then, Barack Obama gave his famous speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and “a star was born.” (full context)
Chapter 28: A Miracle and Still a Maybe
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
In 2004, Senator Barack Obama became what Reynolds describes as the U.S.’s latest “extraordinary Negro,” since he represented the dream... (full context)
Racism vs. Antiracism Theme Icon
History and the Present Theme Icon
Power, Profit, and Privilege Theme Icon
How Racist Ideas Spread Theme Icon
In 2007, while Obama was pulling ahead in the primary elections, the media was busy criticizing Michelle Obama’s body... (full context)