I love books. I am an African American woman and a bookstore owner. My name is VaLinda. I was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and am a long-time resident of South Carolina. Quite frankly, I came from poverty. When I was growing up as a little girl, I would have been termed “disadvantaged.” And, yes, occasionally and despite the best efforts of the wonderful people who raised me, I went hungry. I mention these circumstances only so the reader understands a little of my background.
For much of my life, it had been a seemingly unreachable ambition of mine to own a bookstore. Yet, about six years ago, I somehow managed to purchase a bookstore in Seneca, S.C. and closed it 4 years later, for several reasons, which I will explain another time. However, my store manager and best friend, Arrylee and I successfully transferred the contents of that store to a brand-new location in Goose Creek - Turning Page Bookshop.
In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.
Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.
Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.
What happens to a country that tells generation after generation of white men that they deserve power? What happens when success is defined by status over women and people of color, instead of by actual accomplishments?
Through the last 150 years of American history -- from the post-reconstruction South and the mythic stories of cowboys in the West, to the present-day controversy over NFL protests and the backlash against the rise of women in politics -- Ijeoma Oluo exposes the devastating consequences of white male supremacy on women, people of color, and white men themselves. Mediocre investigates the real costs of this phenomenon in order to imagine a new white male identity, one free from racism and sexism.