Will Straw is associate director for Economic Growth at the Center for American Progress. He writes regularly on American and British politics for Comment is Free, ProgressOnline, and LabourList. This article is adapted from The Change We Need: What Britain Can Learn from Obama's Victory, edited with Nick Anstead and available from www.fabians.org.uk.
Melissa N. Stuckey is an assistant professor of history at the University of Oregon. She specializes in African-American political history and is completing a book on the black freedom struggle in Oklahoma.