A Day Late and a Dollar Short: High Hopes and Deferred Dreams in Obama's "Post-Racial" America

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John Wiley & Sons, Nov 19, 2009 - History - 288 pages
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Could this be the final victory for civil rights, or the first of many to come?

When Henry Louis Gates spoke out about his ridiculous arrest, he stated a truth few Americans?including President Obama?are eager to discuss: there is no such thing as a post-racial America. When it comes to race, the United States has come a long way, but not far enough and not fast enough. Every day, we cope with casual racism, myriad indignities, institutional obstacles, post-racial nonsense, and peers bent on self-destruction. The powers that be, meanwhile, always seem to arrive with their apologies and redress a day late and a dollar short.

This book takes a close look at the lives of African-Americans from diverse backgrounds as Obama?s victory comes to play a personal role in each of their lives. Every tale delves into the complex issues we will have to deal with going forward:

  • The many challenges young black men face, such as subtle persistent racism
  • The stagnation of blacks vis ? vis whites
  • Widespread black participation in the military despite widespread anti-war sentiments
  • The decline of unions even as organized labor becomes the primary vehicle for black progress
  • The challenges of interracial families
  • The lack of good schools or healthcare for the poor
  • The inability of well-off blacks to lift up others

Barack Obama will deliver his first official State of the Union address in January 2010, and A Day Late and a Dollar Short will deliver an altogether different picture of the way things really under the first black president.


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Title Page
Chapter 1Daisy Maeon
Chapter 3HeDoesntSeeWhat
Chapter 4Where
Chapter 5Casualty

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About the author (2009)

Robert E. Pierre, a reporter and editor at the Washington Post, has covered politics and social issues at the Post for nearly two decades. He is a former Chicago bureau chief and a key figure in the Post's 2006 award-winning series, "Being a Black Man."

Jon Jeter has served as a producer for This American Life on NPR and as a Bureau Chief for the Washington Post. He is the author of Flat Broke in the Free Market.

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