As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
✶ Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. ✶
Sunday, April 30
It should have come as no surprise that the slings and arrows would be in action before Barack Obama even announced a possible Presidential bid, and the past month has borne that out. Perhaps the strangest and most muddled discussion has been the one about whether the Junior Senator is "black enough" for some folks. Sure, "identity politics" were bound to be an issue at some point. It's interesting to note, however, that some of the most thoughtful and level-headed punditry on the whole subject of Obama's cultural steet cred has come from music journalists. It seems that Touré anticipated the issue back in 2004 when he published his reflections on Obama and Colin Powell in the essay "Ships Passing In The Night." Some of the points Touré made were echoed last month by hip-hop critic Oliver Wang in his think piece over at the website Poplicks.