Publication Date

August 2010


In this book, feminists speak out on race and gender in the 2008 presidential campaign. Who should be first? With Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as frontrunners, the 2008 Democratic primary campaign was a watershed moment in U.S. history. Offering the choice of an African American man or a white woman as the next Democratic candidate for president, the primary marked an unprecedented moment—but one that painfully echoed previous struggles for progressive change that pitted race and gender against each other. Who Should Be First? collects key feminist voices that challenge the instances of racism and sexism during the presidential campaign season, offer personal reflections on this historic moment, and trace the historic legacy of opposing issues of race and gender that informed debates and media representations of the 2008 Democratic primary. Over thirty leading feminists contribute to the book, including Patricia J. Williams, Gloria Steinem, Alice Walker, Carol Moseley Braun, Maureen Dowd, Katha Pollitt, Pearl Cleage, Robin Morgan, Erica Jong, Mark Anthony Neal, and M. Jacqui Alexander. Editors Beverly Guy-Sheftall and Johnnetta Betsch Cole deftly balance these charged conversations in the first collection on this key moment in contemporary U.S. history. The chapter entitled Sex v. Race, Again, examines parallel between the 2008 campaign and the gender/race battle over the 15th Amendment as viewed from the work of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Publication Title

Who Should be First? Feminists Debate the 2008 Presidential Campaign