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The Unsustainable American State$
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Lawrence Jacobs and Desmond King

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195392135

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195392135.001.0001

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From Kanye West to Barack Obama

From Kanye West to Barack Obama

Black Youth, the State, and Political Alienation

(p.255) 10 From Kanye West to Barack Obama
The Unsustainable American State

Cathy J. Cohen

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to discover the attitudes of young black Americans towards the government. Two perspectives are considered in this chapter. The first perspective relates to Kanye West's cynicism and frustration on the American political community. With typhoon Katrina as a reminder, black people believe that they are still treated like second-class citizens and government help is sluggish in times of crisis. The second perspective, on the other hand, promotes hope and a positive outlook on the government which has been popularized by Barack Obama. This is seen during the rallies for Obama, wherein thousands of young people participated to demonstrate their support. In addition, the chapter examines the reason why black people are still politically alienated despite the increasing opportunities provided to them.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Kanye West, black Americans, politically alienated, political community

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