State of Black Union, Missing Obama

By Malena Amusa Feb 19, 2007

Every year, heady Black intellectuals gather in a large room to address the "State of the Black Union". This February, the event covered how Hip-Hop grips Black America to materialism and misogyny; the vestiges of slavery; and individual vs. institutional responsibility. But the big hype this around was the conspicuous absence of Sen. Barack Obama (who has made appearances in the past) who blew off the gathering, instead flying to Springfield, Ill. to make a speech. Here, famed Prof. Cornel West, author of Race Matters explains why Obama’s absence should be a reminder that the man is, ahem, a politician. I know, it’s an ugly word to describe the Great Black Hope, but according to West we need to get used to the idea that The Obama is only willing to go so far to court Black votes.