1st Edition

Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidency Rhetoric and Media Frames

Edited By Chuka Onwumechili Copyright 2024

    This book presents research-based investigations of the communicative aspects of Barack Obama’s presidency, with a focus on ethnicity, gender, and culture as they interact with communication. It examines Obama’s rhetorical strengths, that also inform his visual rhetorical control, and looks beyond Obama’s messaging to examine how the news framed his presidency.

    The book opens by exploring the racio-rhetorical humour applied by President Obama during his presidency. Chapters investigate topics such as Obama’s use of visual rhetoric, how the media framed Obama using racialized lens, and offer iconographical analysis of satires featured in The New Yorker that symbolized the politics of racial fear erupting prior to the start of Obama’s presidency. They also examine how the White House used YouTube messaging to rebuild the first lady Michelle Obama’s image in ways that became acceptable to a wider American public, Obama’s rhetorical struggles to work within tensions created by the intersection of race and violence and analyze President Obama’s speeches at Tribal Nations Conferences.

    Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidency will be a key resource for scholars and researchers of communication studies, political communication, media and cultural studies, race and ethnic studies, and political science, while also appealing to anyone interested in the communicative aspects of Obama’s presidency and American politics. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Howard Journal of Communications.

    Introduction to Barack Hussein Obama’s Presidency: Rhetoric and Media Frames
    Chuka Onwumechili

    1. The Power of Obama’s Racio-rhetorical Humor: Rethinking Black
    Judy L. Isaksen

    2. Image Control: The Visual Rhetoric of President Obama
    Timothy R. Gleason and Sara S. Hansen

    3. ‘‘To Have Your Experience Denied . . . it Hurts’’: Barack Obama, James
    Baldwin, and the Politics of Black Anger
    Jeffrey B. Kurtz

    4. News Framing of Obama, Racialized Scrutiny, and Symbolic Racism
    Srividya Ramasubramanian and Amanda R. Martinez

    5. Technicolor Racism or Caricature Assassination? Satirizing White Anxiety About the Obama Presidency
    Elka M. Stevens and Tyson D. King-Meadows

    6. State of Nations: Barack Obama’s Indigenous America
    R. E. Glenn

    7. Michelle Obama: Exploring the Narrative
    Marian Meyers and Carmen Goman


    Chuka Onwumechili is Professor of Communications at Howard University, USA and Editor-In-Chief of the Howard Journal of Communications (since 2015). He authored/co-edited more than 12 books and numerous academic articles. His most recent work is developing the African Cultural Theory of Communication (ACToC).