Perceptions of leadership and the challenge of Obama's blackness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article analyzes the relationship between race and perceptions of leadership as a way of assessing the presidential prospects of Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. Analysis of the 1988 Super Tuesday National Election Studies data demonstrates that for White voters, perceptions of leadership serve as a proxy for racial evaluations of an African American candidate. A content analysis of newspaper coverage during the first 3 months of Obama's candidacy was conducted and demonstrates that questions of leadership and race are prominently featured in media reporting about Obama.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Black Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • African American
  • Barack Obama
  • Leadership
  • Presidency
  • Race
  • White voters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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