Wickham, DeWayne. Bill Clinton and Black America

Article excerpt

New York: Ballantine Books, 2002.

In approaching the study of Black Politics in America, I usually instruct my classes to consider the relationship between African Americans and the three distinct, yet intertwined branches of government; Congress, the Executive (the presidency), and the Federal Court system with emphasis on the Supreme Court. The three essential perspectives to use when considering this relationship include Black participation in the branches, Black influence on the branches, and the branches' responses to African American interests and concerns. Classic works that are cited in considering this relationship include: Richard Bardolph, The Civil Rights Record, 1970; William L. Clay, Just Permanent Interests: Black Americans in Congress, 1870-1991, 1992; Ronald W. Walters, Black Presidential Politics in America: A Strategic Approach, 1988; Hanes Walton, Jr., When the Marching Stopped: The Politics of Civil Rights Regulatory Agencies, 1988; Loren Miller, The Petitioners: The Story of the Supreme Court and the Negro, 1966; and Carl T. Rowan, Dream Makers, Dream Breakers: The World of Justice Thurgood Marshall, 1993. Wickham's Bill Clinton and Black America, 2002, should definitely to be added to this list.

DeWayne Wickham's book not only addresses the three perspectives mentioned above, it addresses a fourth, unprecedented, realm which amounts to an assessment of the personal relationship that Black America had with Bill Clinton. The book also provides some analysis of the relationship of previous Presidents with Black people in America. Those relationships tend to mirror the country's historical relationship with people of African descent. …