This week, ESPN’s new content hub exploring the intersection of sports, race and culture, The Undefeated, launched a series of essays on the cultural impact of the presidency of Barack Obama.
The year-long content initiative is titled “The First Black President” and reported by senior writer Michael A. Fletcher, a former White House correspondent for The Washington Post.
The first piece of the series, “A Question of Racism: What’s behind the vitriol in the opposition to Obama?”, examines how much of the entrenched opposition to the nation’s first black president can be attributed to racism. In it, Fletcher weighs not just the language and actions of Obama’s critics, but the cultural and historical context that surrounds questions of race and leadership in the country.
Among the topics explored by Fletcher are the heckling of Obama by Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) during a speech to a joint session of Congress, an unprecedented incident that still rankles Obama supporters. Also, despite Obama having been in office for almost eight years, many Americans still do not believe basic facts of his biography: a CNN poll from last fall found one in five Americans continue to believe the president is not American-born.
“Hopefully, this series will leave readers with a deeper sense of how the first black president changed – and did not change – the country, how we see one another, and what we consider to be culturally mainstream,” Fletcher said.
TheUndefeated.com combines innovative long-form and short-form storytelling, investigation, original reporting and provocative commentary to enlighten and entertain African Americans, as well as sports fans seeking a deeper understanding of black athletes, culture and related issues.
Mac Nwulu contributed to this post.