Ta-Nehisi's profile is among the best:
Obama’s Princeton thesis on “Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,” for example, has been interpreted as a budding Garveyite’s call to arms. Exhibit A seems to be her banal citation of Stokely Carmichael to explain black separatism, and her observation that Princeton made her “more aware of [her] Blackness’ than ever before.”
A hostile reading of those words hinges on a misunderstanding of the complexities of segregation. In fact, for the legions of black people who grew up like Michelle Obamain a functioning, self-contained African American worldracial identity recedes in the consciousness. You know you’re black, but in much the same way that white people know they are white. Since everyone else around you looks like you, you just take it as the norm, the standard, the unremarkable. Objectively, you know you’re in the minority, but that status hits home only when you walk out into the wider world and realize that, out there, you really are different.
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