EMU experts to assess Obama's first two years in White House, Feb. 9

by Pamela Young, Published February 03, 2011


YPSILANTI - The election of Barack Obama in 2008 saw the first African-American take office in the White House.

Two years into President Obama's service, Eastern Michigan University experts will examine his performance during the panel discussion, "The Obama Legacy: A Critical Assessment," Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m. in Ballroom B of the Student Center. The event, which is part of Eastern 's Black History Month celebration, is free and open to the public.

"The discussion series is a vehicle by which the EMU community and the public can hear a scholarly evaluation of the president's performance that is devoid of partisanship and political spinning," said Victor Okafor, head of EMU's department of African American studies. "We're able to shed a critical light on Obama's performance in office as a way of taking stock of whether he is living up to the promises that earned him the majority votes of American voters and the Electoral College."

Featured panelists include:

Robert Perry, professor of African American studies; Eboni Zamani-Gallaher, professor in leadership and counseling; Ronald Woods, professor of African American studies; Edward Sidlow, professor of political science; Mark Higbee, professor of history and philosophy; Ana Monteiro-Ferreira, assistant professor of African American studies; and Patrick Pieh and Jerome Reide, both adjunct lecturers in African American studies. Ravi Perry, assistant professor of government at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., also will participate. Okafor will moderate the event.

The emergence of Barack Obama represented a watershed moment in world history in general, and in American and African American histories in particular, said Okafor.

"Black History Month (in February) is an opportunity for all Americans from all backgrounds and political orientations to renew our national celebration of this moment," Okafor said. "This program will contribute toward students' knowledge of the nature and limits of presidential powers, the intricacies of governance, and the checks and balances that characterize the political system."

Eastern Michigan's department of African American studies has hosted a panel discussion on the Obama presidency for the past three years. The winner of a student essay contest on Obama's presidency also will be announced at the event.

For more information, call 734.487.3460 or e-mail Victor Okafor at vokafor@emich.edu


Pamela Young

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