Barack Obama's historic 2008 presidential campaign touched on all the themes I have covered throughout my career and all of the layers of meaning that run through black politics. Ambition. Aspiration. Fear. Folly. It was all on display as Obama boarded the roller coaster that ultimately led to the White House.
Simply as an exercise in efficient politics, Obama '08 rewrote the textbook. His accomplishment was historic and one that transformed how race and politics intersect in our society. Obama is the leading edge of this change, but his success is merely the ripple in a pond that grows deeper every day.
I learned how to cover race riots by telephone. They didn't pay me enough at my first newspaper job to venture onto the grounds of South Boston High School when bricks were being thrown. Instead, I would telephone the headmaster and ask him to relay to me the number of broken chairs in the cafeteria each day