Drawing on conversations with President Barack Obama during his last year in office, Te-Nehisi Coates assesses the Obama Presidency and his legacy on race. ( The Atlantic, Jan./Feb., 2017) “[I]f his very existence inflamed America’s racist conscience, it also expanded the country’s anti-racist imagination. . . . What Obama was able to offer white America is something very few African Americans could—trust.”

“A black president would always be a contradiction for a government that, throughout most of its history, had oppressed black people. The attempt to resolve this contradiction through Obama—a black man with deep roots in the white world—was remarkable. The price it exacted, incredible. The world it gave way to, unthinkable. ”

In his interview with Coates on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah  notes Coates’ understanding of President Obama as  “[t]rying to calibrate . . . How extreme should you be?”