As if anyone is still thinking about the speech, but John McWhorter has a pretty interesting blog entry:
One workaday aspect of the speech was Obama’s fondness for referring to moving ahead rather than backwards, and one “forward” aspect of the whole event was the beyond-race, miscegenated air of the whole affair; it was café au lait, like Obama’s parentage. Café: when he got wound up, Obama started going “black” on his final vowels (listen to the way he lowered and softened the final -y sound on words like country and community–it’s very black church). Au lait: his wife and daughters have straightened hair–no matter what the Obamas mean about our getting past race, it would be considered distinctly poor P.R. for her to wear her hair natural.
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