Latoya Peterson

Latoya Peterson is the editrix of Racialicious.com, a blog dedicated to exploring the intersection between race and pop culture.

Recent Articles

Five Ways We Talked About Race and Identity This Election

Barack Obama's candidacy has sparked a complicated debate on race and ethnicity that needs to be carefully unpacked.

Can we talk about race for a minute? I know -- we've been talking about race since 2007, when Barack Obama formally entered the primary. The 2008 election has galvanized discussions of race (as well as class and gender) in America. Since Barack Obama's " A More Perfect Union " speech challenged Americans to take the discussion of race relations into their homes and communities, all forms of media have found themselves searching for trends, meaning, and analysis all along racial lines. So what were the major themes that emerged from this national conversation on race? 1. Mixed race identity is only employed when absolutely necessary -- or when it is needed to make a point. For all intents and purposes, Barack Obama has been the "black candidate" for most of 2008. Though Obama often speaks of his father from Kenya and his mother from Kansas, most of the time, Obama's background is overlooked. While a few articles explored Obama's understanding and acceptance of blackness as a racial/...

Barack Obama, Hip-Hop Candidate

Barack Obama has captured the spirit of hip-hop. Not because of his racial identity or his oratory skills, but because his policies and approach to politics demonstrate that he understands the needs and desires of the hip-hop generation.

My raps ignite the people like Obama -- Common, "The People," Finding Forever Whether or not he is aware of it, Barack Obama is the first hip-hop presidential candidate. Like hip-hop, Obama rose from long-shot hopeful to fierce contender. But it is more than just his political style that is rooted within hip-hop culture. Forget the money-cash-hoes bacchanal showing in an endless loop on MTV and BET. Ignore the thousand and one variations on " Superman " floating around YouTube. Hip-hop culture is a unifying force, a potent combination of entrepreneurship, community activism, creativity, and innovation that appeals to youth across the globe. Barack Obama is the hip-hop candidate, not because of his racial identity or his oratory skills, but because his policies and approach to politics demonstrate that he understands the needs and desires of the hip-hop community. In the late 1980s Chuck D famously identified hip-hop as "the black CNN." Back then, hip-hop was all about language and...

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